||First, some terminology.
Defined Names are sometimes referred to by several names, the most common are Defined
Names, Range Names and Named Ranges. Lotus created the feature of Range Names in which
you assign a name to a range of cells. However, Excel added other features, such as
naming formulas. We used to use the terms interchangabely however, to be consistant with
the users of today, we will use the term Defined Names.
Working with cells and ranges
of cell is fairly simple. Let's say you have a print range B2:G47.
Two issues may arise:
By defining this range with a name,
it will now be much easier and more intuitive to work with.
You get tired of always having
to highlight this range everytime you want to print it.
You can't alway remember the
exact range, and you need to be consistent.
To Name a Range:
Using the Insert (in the
menu), Name, Define commands are the basic steps to name a range.
Here's a quick short cut:
Select the range, say B2:G47
Click on Insert (in the menu),
Type the name, for example SalesReport
and press Enter
That range is now defined.
To select this range, later
press F5 (Edit GoTo) and double click on the SalesReport. The range
is now selected.
Note directly above cell
A1, there is a drop down list box with a cell reference in the list.
This is the name box.
Select a range
Click the Drop Down Arrow
Type the desired name, say
Test and press Enter
Pressing Enter is required!
The range is now named.
Short list of rules in naming
Unselect the range.
Now, to Go To that range,
simply click on the same drop down arrow.
Click on Text and the range
Changing a range associated
with a name:
Names Ranges must begin with
a non-number, usually a letter of the alphabet or the Underscore Character
The names may contain numbers,
but must begin with text
Periods ( . ) are allowed
Upper and lower case letters
are interpreted the same in Excel.
and SALESREPORT are all the same name. By creating a name using caps, such
as SaleReport, you may find it a bit easier to work with.
The name cannot look like a
For example, you desire
to name your payroll summary W2 (IRS form W2). Excel will think this is
Spaces are not allowed.
Highlight the new range.
Click on Insert
(in the menu), Name, Define (no short-cuts here)
Type the Name
Do not select the name
from the list. If you do, you simply create the old name and range again.
You must type the name.
This article is a quick primer
on Defined Names. They are simple to create and very powerful. Most articles
in this site will instruct you to used Defined Names as it make the task
easier and more intuitive.