Excel Tutorial: How To Make Named Range In Excel


Have you ever found yourself constantly referring to the same cell range in Excel? It would be much easier if you could assign a name to that range, right? That's where named ranges come in. In today's Excel tutorial, we will explore the process of creating a named range in Excel and discover the importance of using them in your spreadsheets.

Key Takeaways

  • Named ranges in Excel allow for easier navigation within a worksheet.
  • Using named ranges can increase formula readability in spreadsheets.
  • Named ranges help reduce the risk of errors in formulas.
  • Creating named ranges involves selecting cells, accessing the "Formulas" tab, and choosing "Define Name."
  • It's important to avoid common mistakes such as overlapping named ranges and using invalid characters in names.

Benefits of using named ranges

Named ranges in Excel can offer several advantages for users, from easier navigation to reducing the risk of errors in formulas.

A. Easier navigation within a worksheet
  • Improved organization: By assigning a descriptive name to a range of cells, users can easily navigate to specific areas of a worksheet, making it easier to locate and reference data.
  • Enhanced usability: Named ranges can be used in various Excel features such as data validation and conditional formatting, improving the overall usability of the workbook.

B. Increased formula readability
  • Clarity in formulas: Using named ranges in formulas can make them more understandable, especially for complex calculations involving multiple cells or ranges. This can also make it easier for other users to interpret and modify the formulas.
  • Reduction of cell references: Named ranges can eliminate the need for repetitive cell references in formulas, making them more concise and easier to read.

C. Reduced risk of errors in formulas
  • Minimized mistakes: By using named ranges, users can reduce the risk of errors in formulas, as the descriptive names make it easier to identify and correct any potential mistakes.
  • Consistency in data: Named ranges can help ensure consistency in formulas throughout the workbook, as the same named range can be used across multiple worksheets and workbooks.

Steps to create a named range in Excel

Creating a named range in Excel allows you to easily refer to a specific group of cells by a designated name, making it easier to navigate and use in formulas. Here are the steps to create a named range in Excel:

  • A. Select the range of cells to name

    Begin by selecting the range of cells that you want to name. This could be a single column, row, or a group of cells in various locations within the spreadsheet.

  • B. Click on the "Formulas" tab

    Once the desired range of cells is selected, navigate to the "Formulas" tab at the top of the Excel window. This tab contains a variety of functions and tools for working with formulas and named ranges.

  • C. Choose "Define Name" and enter a name for the range

    Within the "Formulas" tab, locate the "Defined Names" group. Click on "Define Name" to open the "New Name" dialog box. In this dialog box, enter a name for the range in the "Name" field. This name will be used to refer to the selected range of cells throughout the Excel spreadsheet.

  • D. Click "OK" to create the named range

    After entering the desired name for the range, click "OK" to create the named range. The selected range of cells will now be associated with the specified name, making it easier to reference and use in formulas and data analysis.

How to use named ranges in formulas

Named ranges in Excel can make your formulas more readable and easier to maintain. Here's how you can use named ranges in formulas:

  • Referencing a named range in a formula
  • When you have a named range in your workbook, you can easily reference it in a formula by typing the name of the range instead of the cell references. For example, instead of typing =SUM(A1:A10), you can simply type =SUM(myRange) if "myRange" is the name of your named range.

  • Updating named ranges for dynamic data
  • If your data is dynamic and you need to update the named range frequently, you can do so by using the Name Manager in Excel. Simply go to the Formulas tab, click on Name Manager, and then edit the range to include new data.

  • Using named ranges in data validation
  • You can use named ranges in data validation to create drop-down lists or restrict the type of data that can be entered in a cell. This can help ensure that the data entered in your workbook is accurate and consistent.

Tips for managing named ranges

Named ranges in Excel can make your work more efficient and organized, but managing them effectively is key to getting the most out of this feature. Here are some tips for managing named ranges:

A. Editing and deleting named ranges
  • Review existing named ranges

    Before creating new named ranges, take the time to review your existing ones. You may find that some are no longer needed or can be combined with others for better organization.

  • Edit named ranges

    To edit a named range, go to the Formulas tab and click on the Name Manager. From there, you can edit the range's reference, name, and scope as needed.

  • Delete named ranges

    If a named range is no longer needed, you can delete it from the Name Manager. Be sure to double-check that the range is not being used in any formulas before deleting it.

B. Organizing named ranges in Excel
  • Use a clear naming convention

    When creating named ranges, use a clear and consistent naming convention to make it easier to identify and manage them later on. This could include using prefixes or suffixes to indicate the type of range (e.g., "tbl_" for tables or "rng_" for regular ranges).

  • Group related named ranges

    Consider grouping related named ranges together, either by using similar names or by creating a separate tab or section in your workbook for each group of ranges. This can help keep your ranges organized and easy to find.

  • Color-code named ranges

    If you have a large number of named ranges, consider color-coding them to visually distinguish between different types or categories. This can help you quickly identify and manage ranges as you work in your workbook.

C. Using named ranges in multiple worksheets
  • Scope named ranges appropriately

    When creating named ranges, consider the scope in which they will be used. If a range needs to be accessible across multiple worksheets, be sure to select the "Workbook" option as the scope when defining the range.

  • Referencing named ranges in formulas

    To use a named range across multiple worksheets, simply refer to it by name in your formulas. Excel will automatically interpret the reference as the named range, regardless of which worksheet you are working in.

Common mistakes to avoid when working with named ranges

When working with named ranges in Excel, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that can lead to errors in your spreadsheets. By understanding these mistakes, you can ensure that your named ranges are accurate and reliable. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  • Overlapping named ranges

    One common mistake when working with named ranges is creating overlapping ranges. This occurs when the same cell or range of cells is included in multiple named ranges. This can lead to confusion and errors in your formulas, so it’s important to carefully review your named ranges to ensure there is no overlap.

  • Using invalid characters in named range names

    Another mistake to avoid is using invalid characters in named range names. Excel has specific rules for naming ranges, and using characters like spaces, punctuation, or special symbols can lead to errors. Stick to alphanumeric characters and underscores when naming your ranges to avoid this issue.

  • Forgetting to update named ranges when data changes

    Once you have created named ranges in your spreadsheet, it’s important to remember to update them when the underlying data changes. If you forget to update your named ranges, your formulas may return incorrect results. Make it a practice to review and update your named ranges whenever you make changes to your data.


Named ranges in Excel can significantly improve the efficiency and readability of your spreadsheets. By summarizing a group of cells under a single, memorable name, you can streamline your formulas and make your data more accessible. I encourage you to incorporate named ranges into your Excel workflows to enhance your productivity and organization. Understanding and using named ranges is an important skill that can greatly benefit any Excel user.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles