Excel's data validation feature is underused because many users don't realize how versatile it is, especially where dates are concerned.
Dates seem to complicate things, but only in your head! This feature handles dates fine.
Here are four ways to express dates using data validation:
- Literal values. Just enter the first and last acceptable dates.
- Input values. Refer to input cells instead of entering literal date values.
- A dynamic list. Create the date list as a Table, so the validation updates as you modify the list.
- Formulas. Create a formula to validate the dates. This approach is dynamic and very flexible.