How to Use Define Name in Excel

In this lesson, you will learn how to define name to cells and ranges. It will help you to use these names in your formulas. You can use these defined names as variables.

You can assign names to cells and ranges in Excel. For you it is much better to use name than just address of cells.  It looks also much more professional. Cell named Sales or range of cells named Sales_Atlanta are certainly a lot easier to remember and identify than the corresponding cell addresses A1 or A2:B20.

You can use defined name in formulas and functions instead of cell addresses. When you move a cell or range of cells possessing different place name in the worksheet, Excel automatically updates all the necessary formulas and references.

Defining name of cells (or range of cells)

Select cell (or range) you want to name.

Define Name Range

Go to Ribbon. Click the Formulas tab. Next go to Defined names section. Click Define Name.

Define Name Ribbon

Dialog box appears. Fill it in. Specify the name for the defined name in the Name field.

In the Refers to field, specify the cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value that you want to refer to using the defined name.

Define Name New Name

Your name is defined. You can see it here.

Define Name Done

You can also define name in other way. Use this method to define name of ranges. Header will become names of range.

Create from Selection

In Microsoft Excel, you can use the Create from Selection feature to create defined names for a range of cells. This is a quick and easy way to create defined names for your worksheet. Here’s how you can use Create from Selection to create defined names in Excel:

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Select range of cells you want to name (with header!).

Define Name Example

Go to Ribbon. Click the Formulas tab. Next go to Defined names section. Click Create from Selection button.

Define Name Create from Selection

In the Create Names from Selection dialog box, select the location of the labels or headings for the defined names. For example, if your labels or headings are in the first row, select Top row.

Click a proper check box.

Create Names from Selection

Name is defined.

Define Name Ready

Excel will create defined names based on the labels or headings in the selected range of cells. For example, if the first row of your selected range of cells contains headings such as Name, Sales, and Profit, Excel will create defined names Name, Sales, and Profit for the corresponding columns in the selected range of cells.

Before you learnt how to define names, you have used such formulas: =SUM(A1:B2)

Now, you can use such formulas: =SUM(ExampleName,BestExcelTutorialExample). Excel remembers names which you defined. Excel will help you as you see at the picture below.

Define Names Formulas

Excel shows your names the same such functions. Just use names and create functions incredibly easy.

You can also edit, delete, or manage defined names in Excel. To edit a defined name, right-click the name in the Name box and select Edit Name. To delete a defined name, right-click the name in the Name box and select Delete. To manage defined names, go to the Formulas tab, in the Defined Names group, and click Name Manager.