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How to Restrict Data in Google Sheets with Data Validation

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If you use Google Sheets to collaborate with others, you can prevent people from typing the wrong data in your spreadsheet’s cells. Data validation stops users from inserting anything other than properly-formatted data within specific ranges. Here’s how to use it.

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How to Use Data Validation in Google Sheets

Fire up your browser, head to the Google Sheets homepage, open a spreadsheet, and highlight the range you want to restrict.

Highlight all the cells to which you want to add some data validation.

Click “Data,” and then click “Data Validation.”

Click Data, and then click Data Validation.

In the data validation window that opens, click the drop-down menu beside “Criteria.” Here, you can set a specific type of input to allow for the selected cells. For the row we’ve selected, we’re going to make sure people put in a four-digit number for the year a movie was released, so select the “Number” option. You can also select other criteria, such as text only, dates, a pre-defined list of options, items from the specified range, or your custom validation formula.

Click the drop-down menu next to "Criteria" and select the form of validation you want to use.

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