Define and use names in formulas

Applies to: Excel for Office 365, Excel for Office 365 for Mac, Excel for the web, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011. 

Labelling formulas helps make them much simpler to understand and sustain. A name can be defined for a range of cells, function, constant, or table. After adopting the practice of applying names in your workbook, it is easy for you to update, audit, and organise these names.


Name a cell

  1. Choose a cell.
  1. In the Name Box, enter a name.
  1. Hit Enter.

Define names from a selected range

  1. Choose the desired range to name alongside the row or column labels.
  1. Click Formulas > Create from Selection.
  1. In the Create Names from Selection dialogue box, format the location that includes the labels by clicking the Top row,Left column, Bottom row, or Right column check box.
  1. Press OK. Excel defines the cells based on the labels in the range you specified.

Use names in formulas

  1. Choose a cell and type a formula.
  1. Locate the cursor for the area that you want to use the name in that formula.
  1. Enter the first letter of the name, and choose the name from the list that appears. Or, click Formulas > Use in Formula and press the name you want to use.
  1. Hit Enter.

Manage names in your workbook with Name Manager

  1. On the Ribbon, go to Formulas > Defined Names > Name Manager. You can subsequently create, edit, delete, and locate all the names used in the workbook.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

See Also

Why am I seeing the Name Conflict dialogue box in Excel?

Create a named range in Excel

Insert a named range into a formula in Excel

Use the Name Manager in Excel

Learn more about names in formulas

Apply named ranges to an existing formula

Use structured references in Excel table formulas

Overview of formulas in Excel

Create or change a cell reference

Create a named range from selected cells in a worksheet

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