How to Use Named Areas in Excel Formulas and Functions - dummies

How to Use Named Areas in Excel Formulas and Functions

By Ken Bluttman

Naming areas in Excel is easy to do, and in fact, you can do it a few ways. The first is to use the New Name dialog box. You can get to this by clicking the Define Name button on the Formulas tab of the Ribbon. In the dialog box, you set a range, give it a name, and click the OK button.

Defining a named area.
Defining a named area.

It is easier to remember a word such as Customers or Inventory or December than it is to remember B14:E26 or AF220:AR680. So create names for the ranges that you know you’ll reference in your formulas and functions.

The Name Manager is another dialog box that you can display by clicking its button on the Formulas tab. This dialog box lets you add, update, and delete named areas. A really quick way to just add them (but not update or delete) is to follow these steps:

  1. Select an area on the worksheet.

  2. Click the Name Box and enter the name.

    The Name Box is part of the Formula Bar and sits to the left of where formulas are entered.

  3. Press Enter.

Done! Now you can use the name as you please. The figure shows a name being entered in the Name Box. Of course, you can use a particular name only once in a workbook. After the defined name is entered, you can find it in the Name Box by clicking the down arrow in the right of the box.

Defining a named area the easy way.
Defining a named area the easy way.