【PowerApps】How to use a Drop down Control and the difference from a Combo box (Distinct, Sort Functions)

This article is about Microsoft PoweApps’ ‘Drop-down’ control and the differences from a ‘Combo box’ control. The Distinct and Sort functions are often used with the Drop down control.  I’ll explain those functions too.

【PowerApps】How to use a Drop down Control and the difference from a Combo box Short Video

(Duration: 3:34)


PowerApps: How to use a Drop down control


Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma, Black Belt.


On the PowerApps operation screen, select ‘Insert’ and ‘Control’, then you’ll see ‘Drop down’ and ‘Combo box’.


Drop down and Combo box


However, these two look the same as each other.  As you can see, when the user’s choices are predetermined, using these controls will improve the user’s usability.


Drop down and Combo box 2


Let’s see the Drop down Control. First, you need to register the users’ options in the Items property. There are a couple of ways to do it.


If those options will not change in the future, put them in double quotes in square brackets.


Drop down Items Property 1


If the options may change, you should refer to the data source for that and bring them.
In this example, I’m bringing data from the Final_Status Column in an external database, Tbl_Application.


PowerApps Drop down list example


But here is a problem. There are duplicate values in the referenced data source. In this situation, you can use the Distinct function. Put it outside of your existing formula, then you can remove duplicate data.


However, it shows an error. If you look at the explanation of the formula’s argument, it’s a comma rather than a dot after the data source. When I changed the dot with a comma, the error disappeared, and the duplication disappeared.


Distinct Function Argument


Also, if there are a lot of options, it is better to sort them. Put the Sort function outside of your formula and put a ‘.Result’ (dot Result) as the second argument.




How to get a selected value in a Drop down and the differences from a Combo box


Next, I’ll show how you can get the selected item in the Drop down. I’ll use a Label Control for this example. In the label’s Items property, put the Drop down name, a ‘.Selected.Result’ or ‘.Selected.Value’. Then, it’s done.


How to get a value from Drop down control


However, you cannot make multiple selections with Drop down. You should use a Combo box for that as well when you allow users to enter any values.


PowerApps Combo box List Example


The use of the Items property is the same as in the Drop down, but the Combo box has much more functionality, so I’ll make another video about that control.


I put a link to Microsoft’s official page about the Drop down Control in this video description, so please refer to it.


<< Microsoft Official Page: Drop down Control >>


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