MS-Excel / Functions and Formula

Advantages to Naming Cells and Ranges

Using names for cells and ranges offers the following advantages:

  • A meaningful range name (such as Income) is much easier to remember than a range address (such as A1:A21).
  • After you select a named cell or range, its name appears in the name box.
  • You can quickly move to a named area of your worksheet by choosing a name in the name box.
  • Creating formulas is easier, because you can paste a cell or range name into a formula.
  • Names make your formulas more understandable and easier to use. For example, =Income-Taxes is more intuitive than =D20-D40.

Although Excel is flexible about the names that you can define, it does have the following rules:

  • Names must begin with a letter or the underscore character (_).
  • Names can't contain any spaces. You may want to use an underscore or a period character to simulate a space (such as Annual_Total or Annual.Total).
  • You can use any combination of letters and numbers, but the name must not begin with a number (such as 3rdQuarter) or look like a cell reference (such as Q3).
  • You can't use most symbols. You can, however, use the underscore (_), period (.), backslash (\), and question mark (?).
  • Names can be no more than 255 characters long.
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