How to Name a Range in Excel

Microsoft Excel is a widely used tool for many professionals, students, and data enthusiasts. It offers a variety of features, and one particularly useful but often overlooked feature is the ability to create and manage named ranges. Named ranges allow you to assign meaningful labels to specific sets of cells, making your work more efficient and formulas easier to understand.

What is a Named Range in Excel?

A named range is like a special name you can give to one cell or a group of cells. For example, if you have a list of sales figures in cells B1:B22, you can give this range the name ‘Sales’. It’s important to remember that each named range must have a unique name. You can’t have two different ranges with the same name, like having two ‘Sales’ ranges.

Why Name a Range in Excel?

Here are some good reasons to use named ranges in Excel:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency: When you’re dealing with a lot of data, manually selecting large groups of cells can be tiring. Named ranges let you use custom names instead of cell coordinates, making it quicker and easier to create formulas.
  2. Adaptability: With dynamic named ranges (we’ll talk about this later), you won’t have to keep changing your formulas when you add more data. The named range will automatically include all the data in its area.
  3. Easier Navigation: In big spreadsheets, named ranges work like signposts. When you select a named range, you can quickly jump to the right cells, which makes your work much smoother.

How to Name a Range in Excel

Naming ranges in Excel is a flexible process, and the way you do it depends on whether you’re naming one range or several at once.

Using the Name Box:

  1. Select the cells you want to include in your range.
  2. Click inside the Name box in the top-left corner of your spreadsheet.
  3. Type the name you want for your range.
  4. Press Enter to finish.

If you want to go back to those cells later, just click the arrow at the end of the Name Box and pick the named range.

Using the Define Name Tool:

  1. Select the cells you want to include in your range.
  2. Right-click inside the selection.
  3. Choose ‘Define Name’.
  4. In the box that appears, type the name for your range and click OK.

You can also access the Define Name option by going to the “Formulas” menu.

Editing Range Names in Excel

If you need to change or delete a named range:

  1. Go to the ‘Formulas’ menu.
  2. Click on ‘Name Manager’.
  3. Select the named range you want to edit and click ‘Edit’ to change its name.
  4. To delete a named range, select it and click ‘Delete’.


Knowing how to use named ranges in Excel is a helpful skill that not only saves time but also makes your spreadsheets more organized and efficient. Whether you’re simplifying complex formulas or working with a lot of data, named ranges are like reliable assistants in the world of Excel.

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