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 the Same Range Name on Different Worksheets.

Using the Same Range Name on Different Worksheets

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 28, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


One of the handy features of Excel is that you can define names that refer to ranges of cells. (This is a big plus when you want to write formulas that make sense.) When you create a named range, Excel assumes that you want the name to be available from every worksheet within a workbook. You can, however, specify that a name be valid only for the current worksheet. In this way you can define the same name on different worksheets in your workbook. Thus, you could have a range named MyRange on Sheet1, a range named MyRange on Sheet2, and also on Sheet3. To create names that are only applicable to a specific worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to name.
  2. Choose Name from the Insert menu, then choose Define. Excel displays the Define Name dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The New Name dialog box.

  4. In the Names in Workbook box, enter the name of the current worksheet, an exclamation mark, and the name you want to define, as in Sheet1!MyRange.
  5. Click on Add.

That's it. Now, if you go to a different worksheet, the name you defined will not be available from that worksheet—only from the worksheet in which it was defined.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2662) 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 the Same Range Name on Different Worksheets.

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. ...

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