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Playing The Name Game

Playing The Name Game

I’m glad to see that you’ve decided to come along for this little adventure.

I think the best place to start will be with a better understanding of what it means to name ranges of cells in Excel.

Basically, naming a range (or a single cell for that matter) is to give Excel a meaningful word (or words) that you will refer to the selected set of cells by.

Just like we did above with the column titles—only better.

Better because we can then use the name on any worksheet in the workbook—not just the one where the data appears.

OK. So now that we have a basic understanding of what naming is in Excel, I think it’s time we learn how to actually get the naming done.

Once you’ve decided that you want to name a range of cells you really have a couple of different choices.

One method is to use the Name box in the formula bar. Here’s what to do.

Not too bad—easy as can be—with no extra windows to open or close. (That’s always a bonus in my book.)

Another method would involve using the titles already given to the column or row.

And, once again, that’s it. You’re done. The range has been named and you’re on your way.

I believe that this would be a good time to discuss some restrictions on how you name your ranges. The Office Assistant lists several items, so it’s probably a good idea to list those as he does.

Also, you might be interested to know that the Name box is also a pull down list of all named ranges in the workbook.

So… if you need to get somewhere in a hurry simply pull down the list and select the name of the range you need to see. Instantly you’ll be taken to the location you’re looking for.

Now that you know the facts, don’t sit on the bench—get into the game. It might just take some of the intimidation out of those confusing Excel formulas.

~ April