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Using Named Ranges in a Macro

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Using Named Ranges in a Macro.

Bruce has a named range (Account) defined in a workbook and he wonders how to access and use that named range from within a macro. There are several ways you can access the range, using either the Range object or the Names collection.

To access the named range using the Range object, all you need to do is provide the name of the range as a parameter to the object. This name is the same one that you defined within Excel. For instance, the following line could be used to change the interior color of the entire range:

Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("Account").Interior.Color = vbYellow

Note that the Range object is used relative to a particular worksheet, in this case Sheet1. You could also define a range object within VBA and then assign it to be equal to the named range, in this manner:

Set rng = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("Account")

The other method of using the named range is to use the Names collection. The following line will again set the interior color of the range to yellow:

Workbooks("Book1.xls").Names("Account").RefersToRange.Interior.Color = vbYellow

Note that the Names collection is relative to the entire workbook, so it is not necessary to know which worksheet the named range is associated with when you use this method of access. You can also define a range object in VBA and assign it to be the same as the named range:

Set rng = Workbooks("Book1.xls").Names("Account").RefersToRange

You should know that the Names collection method of accessing a named range will only be viable if you don't have the same named range defined on different worksheets in the workbook. If you do, then you will need to use the Range object method, which requires the use of a specific worksheet name in the reference.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3106) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Using Named Ranges in a Macro.

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