Create Excel names that refer to cells, a range of cells, a constant value, or a formula. Then, use those names in formulas, to replace values or cell references. If Excel names refer to cells or a range of cells, you can use the names for navigation, to quickly select the named range.
In Excel, you can create names that refer to a single cell, a group of cells on the worksheet, a specific value, or a formula. After you define Excel names, you can use the names in a formula, instead of using a constant value or cell references. For example, a cell that contains the tax rate could be named SalesTax. Then, other cells could multiply sales amounts by the named range, SalesTax.
For Excel names that refer to a cell or a range of cells, you can use the names to quickly select the named range, and that makes navigation easier. Just select a range name from a drop down list, and you'll immediately go to that range.
You can create a named range quickly by typing in the Name Box.
An Excel name can't contain space characters, and there are other rules to follow when you're creating a name.
After you create a named range, you might need to change the cells that it refers to. Follow these steps to change the range reference:
To quickly name individual cells, or individual ranges, you can use worksheet labels as the names. Watch this video to see the steps. Written instructions are below the video.
A quick way to create names is to base them on worksheet labels. In the example shown below, the cells in column C will be named, based on the labels in the adjacent cells, in column B.
To name cells, or ranges, based on worksheet labels:
After creating names that refer to a range, you can select a name in the Name Box dropdown list, to select the named range on the worksheet.
You can also use names in formulas. For example, you could have a group of cells with sales amounts for the month of January. Name those cells JanSales, then use this formula to calculate the total amount:
In the following example, the names TotalSales and TaxRate have been defined.
=TotalSales * TaxRate
To view the steps in a short Named Range video, click here.
If the list that you want to name will change frequently, having items added and removed, you should create a dynamic named range. Unlike a static named range, a dynamic named range will automatically adjust in size, when the list changes.
A dynamic list is ideal if you are creating a drop down list, and want new items shown automatically, or if you are creating a pivot table, and add new records frequently.
In Excel 2007 and later, the easiest way to create a dynamic named range is to start by creating a named Excel table. Then, define a range based on one or more columns in that table.
In this example there is a list of parts on the worksheet, and a named table, and dynamic named ranges will be created.
First, to create the table:
Next, to create a dynamic list of part IDs:
To see the name's definition, click the Ribbon's Formulas tab, and click Name Manager. There are two named items in the list -- the Parts table, with the default name, Table1, and the PartIDList, which is based on the PartID field in Table1.
Because the PartIDList named range is based on a named table, the list will automatically adjust in size if you add or remove part IDs in the list.
When you create a named range in Excel, it doesn't automatically include new items. If you plan to add new items to a list, you can use a dynamic formula to define an Excel named range. Then, as new items are added to the list, the named range will automatically expand to include them.
If you are using Excel 2003, which does not have named tables, you can use a dynamic formula to define a named range. As new items are added, the range will automatically expand.
Note: Dynamic named ranges will not appear in the Name Box dropdown list. However, you can type the names in the Name Box, to select the range on the worksheet.
Last updated: April 30, 2015 1:00 AM