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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 14, 2013)

5

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

Reducing File Sizes for Workbooks with PivotTables

Need to reduce the size of your workbooks that contain PivotTables? Here's something you can try to minimize the ...

Discover More

Deleting All Tab Stops

Tab stops can be helpful when you want to align text within a paragraph. However, you might also want an easy way to get rid ...

Discover More

Converting UNIX Date/Time Stamps

If you import information generated on a UNIX system, you may need to figure out how to change the date/time stamps to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Solving Simultaneous Equations

One branch of mathematics allows you to work with what are called "simultaneous equations." Working with this type of ...

Discover More

Relative References to Cells in Other Workbooks

When you construct a formula and click on a cell in a different workbook, an absolute reference to that cell is placed in the ...

Discover More

Concatenating Values from a Variable Number of Cells

Excel makes it easy to concatenate (or combine) different values into a single cell. If you need to combine a different ...

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 for this tip:

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 three minus 1?

2017-02-17 05:14:33

Alan Elston

Hi Barry.
Interesting and useful, Thanks.
I wonder why it is different? I always thought that a normal cell address like A1 was a “pseudo reserved Name” named range, so that it should work similarly to a “user defined Name” named range..
Alan


2017-02-16 05:08:47

Barry

I make it a rule when writing macros to always refer to cells on a worksheet using a named range. That way if a user (if they are allowed to) were to add or delete rows or columns the referred range remains correct as Excel will adjust the range referred to automatically. Ranges referred to explicitly in macros are not updated if rows or columns are added or deleted.


2015-12-27 11:20:09

Brian

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?


2015-07-23 08:39:45

Alpesh

Thanks it helps me lot :)


2014-09-07 05:37:20

nico bakker

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.


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.

Links and Sharing