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: Applying Range Names to Formulas.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2019)
Named ranges can be a great boon when you are writing formulas. For instance, if you assign the name Tax_Rate to cell A7, you can then use the name Tax_Rate in your formulas instead of A7. This makes your formulas (and their purpose) easier to understand when you are later working with them.
This approach is great if you have not yet created any formulas. What if you already have a bunch of formulas in your worksheet, and they already reference cell A7 instead of Tax_Rate? You could, of course, select each formula and edit them to refer to Tax_Rate instead of A7, but that could be a long process that is prone to mistakes. (My fat fingers often introduce mistakes that I never intended. :>))
The solution is to allow Excel to do the editing for you. It is easy to do; just follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Apply Names dialog box.
That's it; Excel examines your formulas and any reference to cell A7 is replaced with the name of A7, Tax_Rate.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8266) 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: Applying Range Names to Formulas.
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