Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Changing the Reference in a Named Range.

Changing the Reference in a Named Range

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 9, 2019)

Using named ranges can be very handy when you are working with formulas or when you just want to keep track of what certain cells in a worksheet are used for. At some point, however, you may want to change the cells referred to by an existing named range. For instance, if a named range called MyRange refers to cells A1:A5, you may want to have it refer to cells C7:C19 instead.

The easiest way to change the range to which a name refers is to use the Name Manager. You can display the manager by displaying the Formula tab of the ribbon and clicking the Name Manager tool in the Defined Names group. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Name Manager.

The Name Manager lists all the named ranges that you've defined. You might think that you need to click Edit in order to make a change, but when changing the actual range associated with a name the process is even easier:

  1. In the list of names shown in the dialog box, click once on the name whose reference you want to change. (In this case, choose MyRange.) The existing reference should show up in the Refers To box at the bottom of the dialog box. (In this case it should show something like =Sheet1!$A$1:$A$5.)
  2. Modify the range reference in the Refers To box. (In this case, change it to =Sheet1!$C$7:$C$19.)
  3. Click the small green checkmark to the left of the Refers To box.

That's it; MyRange now refers to cells C7:C19 instead of A1:A5.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8237) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing the Reference in a Named Range.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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