Understanding Names

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 11, 2015)

You already know that Excel allows you to use cell ranges within formulas and as arguments to functions. For instance, the following is a formula that uses the SUM function. This function uses a cell range as an argument:

=SUM(D3:D18) * 1.05

While this is perfectly allowable, it might not be very understandable to someone else or to yourself at a later date. You might need to go back and figure out exactly what the cell range D3:D18 represents. To overcome such a problem, Excel allows you to use names to represent individual cells or cell ranges. For example, the cell range D3:D18 could represent the regional sales detail; you could assign the name Regional_Sales to this range, and the formula could be entered as follows:

=SUM(Regional_Sales) * 1.05

When compared to the previous formula, this is much more understandable. Automatically you know what sum the formula is using.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2043) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying, Moving, and Deleting Comments

Comments are often added to documents to aid in their development. You can use regular editing techniques to copy, move, and ...

Discover More

Copying Comments when Filtering

The filtering feature in Excel allows you to quickly copy unique information from one data list to another. If you want to ...

Discover More

Changing the Time Zone

There are several times in Drive where the program needs to keep track of the time at which certain events occur. Here's how ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Transposing and Linking

Do you need to both transpose and link information you are pasting in a worksheet? It isn't as impossible to do as it appears ...

Discover More

Creating a Shortcut for Pasting Values

Excel's Paste Special command is used quite a bit. If you want to create some shortcuts for the command, here's some ways you ...

Discover More

Canceling an Edit

When editing a cell, you may want to cancel the edit at some point. There are two ways to do this, both described in this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.