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How to name ranges in Excel (3 Simplest Methods)

August 24, 2023
4.6K Views

Excel can be a powerful tool for anyone. Its ease of use and the ability to integrate it into your work process makes it a powerful tool for any business. But as with any software, there are times when you need to name a range within a worksheet. Sometimes you might need to name all ranges within one column or row, or even across multiple columns or rows.

The range function in Excel gives you a lot of flexibility and power when it comes to combining and manipulating multiple cell addresses together. However, at times you may need to create a range with specific names. This can come in handy when organizing a data set or creating a report that includes text boxes with specific names. Are you looking for a way to name ranges in Excel? If so, you've come to the right place. This article has a quick and easy way to give your range of custom names.

Tips that are provided in this article are compatible with versions 2010/2013/2016.

What are Named Ranges?

Named ranges in Excel are custom labels or identifiers assigned to specific cells, cell ranges, or constant values within a worksheet. Instead of using traditional cell references like A1 or B2, named ranges allow you to use more descriptive names to represent data or formulas. This feature significantly enhances the organization, clarity, and functionality of your spreadsheets.

Benefits of Creating Named Ranges in Excel

  1. Simplified Formulas: Named ranges streamline complex formulas, making them easier to create, understand, and troubleshoot.

  2. Easy Data Selection: When using named ranges, selecting data for charts, functions, or calculations becomes effortless and precise.

  3. Efficient Editing: Modifying formulas and data references is smoother, as changes made to named ranges automatically update throughout the workbook.

  4. Enhanced Collaboration: Named ranges provide a common language for data, promoting consistency and collaboration across teams.

  5. Visual Clarity: Named ranges enhance the visual appeal of your spreadsheets, reducing clutter and improving overall aesthetics.

How to Create Named Ranges in Excel

Creating named ranges in Excel is a straightforward process that yields significant benefits. Let's use an example of a budget spreadsheet to illustrate how to create a named range step by step:

Example: Creating a Named Range for Sales Data

Step 1: Select the Range

Highlight the range of cells containing your monthly expense values.

Select the Range


Step 2: Define the Named Range

Go to the "Formulas" tab and click on "Name Manager." Then, click "New" to define a new name.

Define the Named Range


Step 3:

Give your named range a descriptive and meaningful name, like "PriceForEach"

Define the Named Range with a name


Step 4: Specify the Range

In the "Refers to" field, Excel should automatically populate the cell range you highlighted. Verify that it accurately reflects your selection.

Step 5: Confirm and Create

Click "OK" to confirm your named range. Now, you can refer to the prices using the name "PriceForEach" in formulas and functions.

Create a Named Range

How to Define and Use Named Ranges

Named ranges in Excel are powerful tools that simplify formula creation and data management. In this step-by-step tutorial, we'll walk you through the process of defining and using named ranges. Additionally, we'll explore how to create a named formula for more complex calculations. Let's get started!

Defining Named Ranges

1. Select the Range: Highlight the cells or range of cells you want to name. This can include data, headers, or any other relevant information.

Define the Named Range


2. Go to the "Formulas" Tab: Navigate to the "Formulas" tab in the Excel ribbon.

3. Click on "Name Manager": In the "Defined Names" group, click on "Name Manager." This will open the Name Manager dialog box.

4. Click "New": In the Name Manager dialog box, click the "New" button to create a new named range.

Defining the Named Range


5. Enter the Name: In the "Name" field, type a descriptive name for your named range. Avoid using spaces or special characters.

Define the Named Range with a name


6. Specify the Range: In the "Refers to" field, Excel will automatically display the cell range you previously selected. Verify that the range is correct.

7. Click "OK": Confirm your settings by clicking the "OK" button. Your named range is now defined.

Defined Named Ranges


Using Named Ranges

To use your named range in a formula, simply start typing the formula in a cell. When you need to reference the named range, type the name you assigned preceded by an equal sign. For example, if you named a range "Quantity_Ordered," you can use it in a formula like this: =SUM(Quantity_Ordered)

Using the Named Range

Things to Remember When Working with Named Ranges in Excel:

  1. Descriptive Names: Choose clear and meaningful names for your named ranges. This makes it easier to understand and reference them in formulas and functions.

  2. Avoid Spaces and Special Characters: Names should not include spaces or special characters except underscores (_). Stick to letters, numbers, and underscores.

  3. Name Length: Keep names reasonably short, as excessively long names can become cumbersome to work with.

  4. Case Sensitivity: Excel's named ranges are not case-sensitive. "MyRange" and "myrange" are treated as the same name.

  5. Dynamic Ranges: If you're creating dynamic named ranges with formulas, ensure the formula calculates the correct range, and test its behavior as data changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to Combine First and Last Name in Excel?

Scenario: You have two columns with first names in column A and last names in column B. You want to combine these into a single column with full names in column C.

Steps:

1. Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer.

2. Enter Data: In column A, enter the first names, and in column B, enter the last names.

3. Combine Names: In an empty cell (e.g., C2), enter the formula:

=A2 & " " & B2

This formula combines the first name from cell A2, a space, and the last name from cell B2.

4. Press Enter: After typing the formula, press the Enter key. The combined name will appear in cell C2.

5. Auto Fill: Use the fill handle (a small square at the bottom right corner of the cell) to drag down the formula in cell C2 to copy it for the rest of the rows.

2. How Do I Combine 3 Name Columns in Excel?

Scenario: You have three columns with first names in column A, middle names in column B, and last names in column C. You want to create a single column with full names.

Steps:

1. Open Excel: Launch Excel on your computer.

2. Enter Data: Enter the first names in column A, middle names in column B, and last names in column C.

3. Combine Names: In an empty cell (e.g., D2), enter the formula:

=A2 & " " & B2 & " " & C2

This formula combines the first name, middle name, and last name with spaces in between.

4. Press Enter: Press Enter after entering the formula. The combined name will appear in cell D2.

5. Auto Fill: Use the fill handle to drag down the formula in cell D2 to copy it for the remaining rows.

Final Thoughts on Named Ranges in Excel

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15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.