How to Edit Drop Down List in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Users

Editing a drop-down list in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process that involves accessing the content control settings and making the necessary changes to the list items. By following a few simple steps, you can customize your drop-down menus to suit your specific needs.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Edit a Drop-Down List in Word

In this guide, you’ll learn how to edit an existing drop-down list in Microsoft Word by accessing the content control options and modifying the list items.

Step 1: Open the Document

Open the Microsoft Word document that contains the drop-down list you want to edit.

Once the document is open, scroll through to locate the drop-down list. Make sure you know where it is so you can easily access it.

Step 2: Enter Design Mode

Click on the "Developer" tab in the Word ribbon and then select "Design Mode."

Design Mode allows you to make changes to content controls, such as drop-down lists. If you don’t see the "Developer" tab, you’ll need to enable it in the Word options.

Step 3: Select the Drop-Down List

Click on the drop-down list that you want to edit.

This action will highlight the drop-down list, making it clear which one you are working on. You’ll see the content control options appear.

Step 4: Open Properties

Click on the "Properties" button in the Controls group under the "Developer" tab.

The Properties window will open, showing you various settings for the selected drop-down list. This is where you’ll make your edits.

Step 5: Edit List Items

In the Properties window, find the section labeled "Drop-Down List Properties." Click "Add," "Modify," or "Remove" to edit the list items.

You can now add new items, modify existing ones, or remove those that are no longer needed. Make sure to click "OK" to save your changes.

Step 6: Exit Design Mode

Click "Design Mode" again to exit it and return to standard document editing.

This will finalize your changes and allow you to use the drop-down list in its updated form.

After completing these steps, your drop-down list in Word will be updated with the new items you added or modified. It’s a useful feature for creating forms, surveys, or any document that requires user input.

Tips for Editing a Drop-Down List in Word

  • Enable Developer Tab: Make sure the Developer tab is enabled in Word. You can do this by going to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and checking the Developer option.
  • Save Your Document: Before making any changes, save a copy of your document to avoid accidental data loss.
  • Preview Changes: After editing the list, preview your document to ensure the changes appear as expected.
  • Use Clear Labels: Use clear, concise labels for your drop-down items to make them easy to understand.
  • Test the List: Test the drop-down list to make sure it functions properly and includes all the required items.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t see the Developer tab in Word?

You need to enable it by going to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and checking the Developer option.

Can I edit a drop-down list without entering Design Mode?

No, you need to enter Design Mode to make changes to a drop-down list.

How do I add multiple items to a drop-down list?

In the Properties window, use the "Add" button to add each new item one at a time.

Can I change the order of items in the drop-down list?

Yes, you can use the "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons in the Properties window to change the order.

What happens if I delete an item from the drop-down list?

Once an item is deleted, it will no longer appear in the drop-down menu for selection.


  1. Open the Document
  2. Enter Design Mode
  3. Select the Drop-Down List
  4. Open Properties
  5. Edit List Items
  6. Exit Design Mode


Editing a drop-down list in Word is a simple yet powerful tool for customizing your documents to fit your needs. Whether you’re creating a form, survey, or any interactive document, knowing how to modify these lists ensures that your content remains dynamic and user-friendly. Always remember to save your work before making significant changes, and test the functionality of your drop-down list after editing to ensure it operates as intended. For further reading, consider exploring other features available in the Developer tab, like inserting checkboxes or creating more complex forms. So, dive in and start customizing your Word documents with confidence!