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When to Use What

Posted By On December 1, 2006 @ 2:34 PM In MS Excel,MS Office Help | Comments Disabled

When to Use What

Do you find that referring to cell ranges in Excel formulas is a difficult task? Confused by the use of the colons, commas and spaces?

These characters are definitely a part of formula writing and if they aren’t used correctly, you’ll probably run into some problems.

So, here’s the information that can make formula writing with ranges a much more manageable task.

  • A colon ( : ) names a single range. A1:C2 names the range of cells from A1 to C2. Like this:



  • A comma will result in the union of two ranges. (A union will be all cells in both ranges named). A1:C2, B1:B4 will result in this:



  • Finally, a space will result in the intersection of the ranges. (An intersection will include only the cells where the named ranges overlap). A1:C2 B1:B4 will result in this:


I’ve shown you the results of the named ranges as highlighted cells, but obviously, when you actually go to use them in formulas, it’s the values within those cells that are put to work.

Now, go forward and confidently name ranges to your heart’s content!

~ April


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