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.

Changing the Reference in a Named Range

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 10, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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.

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

Setting Row Height in a Macro

Macros can be used to change the formatting of your worksheet, if desired. One change you might want to make is to the ...

Discover More

Improper Index References

When indexing a document, you may get some funny results once in a while. If you get single index entries when you were ...

Discover More

Numbered Lists without Indentation

Do you want to modify how your numbered lists (or bulleted lists) are created? The key is to use styles to create your ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Determining a Simple Moving Average

A moving average can be a great way to analyze a series of data points that you've collected over time. Setting up a ...

Discover More

Listing Combinations

You can easily use the COMBIN worksheet function to determine the number of combinations that can be made from a given ...

Discover More

Determining Business Quarters from Dates

Many businesses organize information according to calendar quarters, especially when it comes to fiscal information. ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 4 - 1?

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.