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: Applying Range Names to Formulas.

Applying Range Names to Formulas

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 5, 2013)

1

Named ranges can be a great boon when you are writing formulas. For instance, if you assign the name TaxRate to cell A7, you can then use the name TaxRate in your formulas instead of A7. This makes your formulas (and their purpose) easier to understand when you are later working with them.

This approach is great if you have not yet created any formulas. What if you already have a bunch of formulas in your worksheet, and they already reference cell A7 instead of TaxRate? You could, of course, select each formula and edit them to refer to TaxRate instead of A7, but that could be a long process that is prone to mistakes. (My fat fingers often introduce mistakes that I never intended. :>))

The solution is to allow Excel to do the editing for you. It is easy to do; just follow these steps:

  1. Define the named range you want used in your worksheet.
  2. Select the cells that contain formulas.
  3. Choose Insert | Name | Apply. Excel displays the Apply Names dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Apply Names dialog box.

  5. Click OK.

That's it; Excel examines your formulas and any reference to cell A7 is replaced with the name of A7, TaxRate.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8262) 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: Applying Range Names to Formulas.

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

Defining a Custom Paper Size

Need to print your worksheet on a non-standard paper size? Excel is rather limited in printing to such papers, and here is ...

Discover More

Turning Off Names

You can use some of the tools in Excel to convert cell references in formulas into names. Converting back (from names into ...

Discover More

Using Forms for Parental Feedback

If you are a teacher, you know how difficult it can be to get consistent feedback from parents. Here is an idea on how you ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Averaging the Last Numbers in a Column

Need to calculate a running average for the last twelve values in a constantly changing range of values? The formula ...

Discover More

Using Named Formulas Across Workbooks

You can use the naming capabilities of Excel to name both ranges and formulas. Accessing that named information in a workbook ...

Discover More

Counting Non-Blank Cells

Need to count the number of cells in a range that are not blank? You can use the COUNTA function of a more complex formula to ...

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. 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 6 + 0?

2015-03-20 17:54:49

Gates Is Antichrist

Note dead Walkenbach link as I'm writing this. (Not even in wayback)

BTW in case you think nobody would come to this page because they don't use pre-2007, there's more of them than the mainstream wishes to acknowledge. Some of us - maybe yourself - prefer productivity to rhetorical "latest most modern" bullspeak. (This is not whining or tinfoil clutching to the past; it's just that post-2003 Office adds a layer of abstraction which is purely deproductive. Most damaging, you can't go alt-D and arrow through all choices, or alt-I,N and arrow through all choices; with the ribbon and icon arrangement, you have to already know what choices are available, rather than have every single one presented to you. Jensen Harris is the most clueless person in the history of science :) )

Thanks for all your great contributions. Including this one!


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.