We are glad to release the 'Data Validation' functionality in Zoho Sheet. Using this, you could restrict the data that is entered in cells to a specific condition that you set. If it is a numeric cell, you could add numeric constraints like the number should be less than 20, or between 40 and 60, etc. This could be really useful when you have a calculator like functionality on your spreadsheet and expect the input data to fall within a range. Similarly you can set rules on cells with Text and Date formats as well. This functionality is available under the Data tab on our toolbar.
Another great use of Data Validation is to restrict a cell to a pre-defined list of values. You could select the List option (see image above) and enter the pre-defined list of values or you could select the Cell range option to point to a cell range in the sheet that contains the list of allowed values. When you use either of these options, you will be presented with a drop down list when you are about to edit a cell. Type ahead (auto-completion) is also supported on these cells. This helps in quick data entry as well as helps to keep the data consistent. See screenshot below for the drop down list in action.
Error Alerts and Help text:
The error alert setting lets you choose how the spreadsheet should respond when you give an invalid input. You could choose to not allow it and prompt a message to retry or you could choose to accept it but show an informational tooltip. You could also choose to accept it as it is without showing any kind of message.
There is also an option to provide an Help text which will be shown when one focusses on a cell. This helps the person who is editing the spreadsheet to know what kind of input is accepted.
Manage Data Validation Settings:
We also provide a 'Manage Valdation' functionality that lists all the Data Validation rules on your spreadsheet in a single view. You could edit your existing rules, clear them or copy them to a new range. You could also filter the validation settings by Sheet or Cell Range.
Here is a sample spreadsheet with Data Validation in action. Try editing the values under the Status and Priority columns in the first 20 rows. As you focus those cells, you will notice the dropdown icon which will bring up the allowed list of values. And as you type in those cells, the list will be filtered and displayed allowing you to speed up data entry. Also try entering values which are not present in the list to see the error and information alerts.
We hope you find this really useful. Do try it out and share your feedback.