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Changing the Reference in a Named Range

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: Changing the Reference in a Named Range.

Using named ranges can be very handy when you are working with formulas or when you just want to keep track of what certain cells in a worksheet are used for. At some point, however, you may want to change the cells referred to by an existing named range. For instance, if a named range called MyRange refers to cells A1:A5, you may want to have it refer to cells C7:C19 instead.

There are two ways you can accomplish this task. First, you could follow these steps:

  1. Choose Name from the Insert menu and then choose Define. Excel displays the Define Name dialog box.
  2. In the list of names shown in the dialog box, click once on the name whose reference you want to change. (In this case, choose MyRange.) The existing reference should show up in the Refers To box at the bottom of the dialog box. (In this case it should show something like =Sheet1!$A$1:$A$5.)
  3. Modify the range reference in the Refers To box. (In this case, change it to =Sheet1!$C$7:$C$19.)
  4. Click OK.

The second way you can redefine the named range is to follow these steps:

  1. Select the new cell range. (In this case, select the range C7:C19.)
  2. Choose Name from the Insert menu and then choose Define. Excel displays the Define Name dialog box.
  3. In the Names in Workbook box, type MyRange. (Don't click on MyRange in the list of names; type MyRange into the Names in Workbook box.)
  4. Click Add.
  5. Click OK.

That's it; MyRange now refers to cells C7:C19 instead of A1:A5.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8234) 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: Changing the Reference in a Named Range.

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Comments for this tip:

Brian    27 Dec 2015, 11:20
Hi There: I have been tasked with creating a series of graphs (27 in total) for a number of health clinics for a performance dashboard. There are 370 separate rows of data, for a number of periods (about 48). I am using the OFFSET function so the graphs will populate dynamically when new data is inserted into the master table. I have used the "Create..." Named Range feature in Excel 2011 (Mac), which helped in establishing all 370 named ranges. Now I want to update each named range to reflect its corresponding OFFSET function. Is there a fast and easy way to do this, or must I go into each Named Range and update manually?
Alpesh    23 Jul 2015, 08:39
Thanks it helps me lot :)
nico bakker    07 Sep 2014, 05:37
I want each ledgercode changed in another code. Then i want a each code to give a category-name. Then i want sub-totals of each category, and finally a total of these sub-totals.

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