Benefits of named ranges in Excel (2023)

Benefits of named ranges in Excel (1)

Named ranges can make formulas more readable and improve the overall organisation of your spreadsheet. In this blog, Paula Guilfoyle explains the benefits of named ranges and how to set them up.

Named ranges are labels that you can assign to individual cells or cell ranges. This allows you to use range names anywhere you would use a cell or cell range reference.

For example, you can define the cell range C1:C45 as "Employees." Now, whenever you need to enter that cell range, you don't have to remember the exact cell range. You just need to type the name that you used to define it.

In addition, range names use absolute cell references. This means if you copy a formula or use AutoFill when working with named ranges, the formula will maintain its original cell reference.

Named ranges are most useful when working with formulas as they make them much more readable and improve their overall organisation. In this image , cells A2 and B2 have each been given a name (Sales and Expenses, respectively).

Benefits of named ranges in Excel (2)

Rather than cell references being used in the formula, there are named ranges. To someone working on this workbook for the first time, this formula is much more self-explanatory than "=A2–B2" would be.

Perhaps what is most notable about named ranges is that they allow you to construct formulas before adding the data. When you are designing your worksheet, you can create formulas using names instead of traditional cell references, and then define the names for the corresponding ranges as data becomes available.

For example, in this image we have entered the formula into cell A5. As you can see, this formula:


Results in a #NAME error. This error will remain visible until both named ranges in the formula have been defined.

Benefits of named ranges in Excel (3)

For accountants, named ranges allow you to quickly navigate a workbook, read formulas with ease and create formulas with named ranges while waiting on data.

Setting up named ranges can be done very quickly with a few clicks of the mouse. Once set up they can be used in formula and used to navigate a workbook.

You first need to select the cell or range of cells that you would like to work with.

  1. To define a range name, you first need to select the cell or range of cells that you would like to work with. For this example, select cells A2-A4. Next, click Formulas, then Define Name (not the drop-down arrow).
  2. This action will open the New Name dialog box. Here, you can give the new range a name, select which part(s) of your workbook that this range will reference, and add comments.
  3. By default, if the cells are all in one row or column, the Name field will be filled in with that column or row’s header (if one has been defined).
  4. In this example, you can see that the Sales header has been inserted into the Name field. Leave the default settings unchanged and click OK to apply the new named range.
  5. You will now be returned to the worksheet you’ve been working with. Repeat the above steps to define "Expenses” as the named range for cells B2-B4.
  6. You will now see that the formula that was based upon named ranges has changed to incorporate the values you just defined.

Benefits of named ranges in Excel (4)

Paula Guilfoyle is an author for accountingcpd. To see her courses, click here This blog is an extract from her new course, Advanced Excel Formulas for Accountants.

  1. Benefits of named ranges in Excel (5)

    Carlos C

    Posted 06-Mar-2021 at

    This is clearly an useful approach to make excel files more understandable . I definitely need to explore more this area - I use it but I think not to the level I should.


    1. You need to sign in or register before you can add a contribution.


    What is a benefit of using a range name in Excel group of answer choices? ›

    What advantage do you have when using a named range in a formula? Easier to remember than a cell reference. The formula can be used anywhere on the worksheet.

    What are the benefits of using a named range? ›

    For accountants, named ranges allow you to quickly navigate a workbook, read formulas with ease and create formulas with named ranges while waiting on data. Setting up named ranges can be done very quickly with a few clicks of the mouse. Once set up they can be used in formula and used to navigate a workbook.

    What is the biggest benefit of creating a named range? ›

    The advantages of using named ranges include:
    • You don't have to physically select the cell range each time you want to use it.
    • You don't have to remember the cell reference.
    • Named ranges can be managed easily by using Name Manager.
    • Navigation to your named range is much easier through the Name Box feature.
    Oct 28, 2021

    What are named ranges in Excel and why are they useful when doing calculations? ›

    A named range is a feature in Excel that allows you to easily reference individual cells or groups of cells within a workbook using a descriptive name. Using named ranges can save you time when writing complex formulas and make your formulas easier to understand.

    Why is a named range used in a spreadsheet? ›

    Named ranges in Excel are labels that you can assign to individual cells or cell ranges. This allows you to use range names anywhere you would use a cell or cell range reference.

    What is the benefit of using a range name in Excel quizlet? ›

    What is a benefit of using a range name in Excel? Range names are easier for people to remember than cell references.

    What is one benefit of using range names in formulas quizlet? ›

    A range name is a word or a string of characters that represent one or more cells. A Range name can contain up to 1000 characters but it must begin with a number. One benefit of using range names is that if you copy the formula, you do not have to make the cell reference absolute in the formula.

    What are two uses of ranges? ›

    It provides an indication of statistical dispersion. It is always measured in the same units as the data. As it only depends on two of the observations, the range is useful for showing the spread within a dataset and. And also for comparing the spread between similar datasets.

    Which of the following is a benefit of naming cells in Microsoft Excel? ›

    Another benefit of naming cells is that it is easier for other users to understand.

    Do named ranges speed up Excel? ›

    Named ranges make formulas easier to read, faster to develop, and more portable. They're also useful for data validation, hyperlinks, and dynamic ranges. This article shows you how you can use named ranges to build better spreadsheets, and better formulas.

    What are the characteristics of named ranges? ›

    A named range can be up to 255 characters long and can contain letters, numbers, periods and underscores (no spaces or special punctuation characters). Named ranges are not case sensitive and they can contain both upper and lower case letters. They cannot resemble any actual cell addresses such as "B3" or "AA12".

    What are the disadvantages of name ranges in Excel? ›

    So, what are the disadvantages of name ranges? Well, at first, if you don't use them often, they can seem just a little bit fiddly. The second disadvantage of name ranges is that they don't lend themselves to copying relative references. However, there are some workarounds for this when we are creating name ranges.

    What is the advantage of assigning a name to a cell or ranges? ›

    Version 2 uses named ranges, making its formulas much easier to understand. Named ranges also make it easier to enter formulas, since Excel will display a list of names, including function names, that you can pick from, whenever you start to type a name in a formula.

    What are the benefits of defining a data range as table in Excel? ›

    Ten Reasons to use Tables in Excel
    • Filters. The first thing you'll notice when you create a table is that filtering controls are added to the table headers automatically. ...
    • Sorting. ...
    • Easy Data Entry for Charts and PivotTables. ...
    • Automatic AutoFill. ...
    • Calculated Columns. ...
    • Headers always available. ...
    • Total Row. ...
    • Quick Formatting.

    Do named ranges slow down Excel? ›

    The only problem is that named ranges, especially dynamic ranges, consume a considerable amount of working memory. Overusing them may slow down your Excel spreadsheet.

    Why use ranges in Excel? ›

    In Excel, you can give spreadsheet cells names in place of their reference numbers to make formulas easier to understand. Named cells are called named ranges, and you can easily change and manage them in your workbook. If you know how to use named ranges in Excel, you can read your formulas faster and easier.

    How do you use named ranges instead of cell references? ›

    Follow these steps to change the range reference:
    1. On the Ribbon, click the Formulas tab.
    2. Click Name Manager.
    3. In the list, click on the name that you want to change.
    4. In the Refers To box, change the range reference, or drag on the worksheet, to select the new range.
    5. Click the check mark, to save the change.
    Jun 22, 2022

    What is named ranges in Excel with examples? ›

    Create a named range from selected cells in a worksheet
    • Select the range you want to name, including the row or column labels.
    • Click Formulas > Create from Selection.
    • In the Create Names from Selection dialog box, select the checkbox (es) depending on the location of your row/column header. ...
    • Click OK.

    What is range and why is it important? ›

    Range, which is the difference between the largest and smallest value in the data set, describes how well the central tendency represents the data. If the range is large, the central tendency is not as representative of the data as it would be if the range was small.

    What are functions of range? ›

    The range of a function refers to all the possible values y could be. The formula to find the range of a function is y = f(x). In a relation, it is only a function if every x value corresponds to only one y value.

    When should you use range? ›

    We should use the range when we're interested in understanding the difference between the largest and smallest values in a dataset.

    What is the purpose of the named range of cells? ›

    Range names are names used to refer to cell references, formula results, or values. They are often used to avoid hard-coded values appearing in formulas and to make formulas clearer in general.

    What is one of the most important functions in Excel? ›

    The VLOOKUP function is one of the most commonly used and recognizable functions in Excel. It will look for a value in a table and return information from another column relating to that value.

    How do you reference a named range in Excel? ›

    Click on the "Formulas" tab on the Excel Ribbon at the top of the window. Click "Define Name" button in the Formula tab. In the "New Name" dialogue box, under the field "Scope" choose the specific worksheet that the range you want to define is located (i.e. "Sheet1")- This makes the name specific to this worksheet.

    What slows down Excel the most? ›

    Too big spreadsheets in Excel can slow down the Excel speed because big Excel spreadsheets also take up large space on your system. You also know that you need enough free storage space on your system so that you can do your task on the system smoothly and efficiently.

    How do I make my Excel spreadsheet more efficient? ›

    Follow these tips for optimizing many frequently occurring performance obstructions in Excel.
    1. Optimize references and links.
    2. Minimize the used range.
    3. Allow for extra data.
    4. Improve lookup calculation time.
    5. Optimize array formulas and SUMPRODUCT.
    6. Use functions efficiently.
    7. Create faster VBA macros.
    Mar 29, 2022

    How do I optimize Excel performance? ›

    Use Faster Formula Techniques.
    1. Avoid Volatile Formulas. ...
    2. Use Helper Columns. ...
    3. Avoid Array Formulas. ...
    4. Use Conditional Formatting with Caution. ...
    5. Use Excel Tables and Named Ranges. ...
    6. Convert Unused Formulas to Static Values. ...
    7. Keep All Referenced Data in One Sheet. ...
    8. Avoid Using the Entire Row/Column as Reference (A:A)

    What is name range concept? ›

    A named range is just a human-understandable name for a range of cells in Excel. Using the name range in Excel, you can simplify and comprehend your formulas better. For example, you can assign a name for a range in an excel sheet for a function, a constant, or table data.

    What does define named range mean? ›

    A named range is a feature in Google Sheets that lets you give a range a range a unique name. This is a very useful feature since you can use the name of range in formulas and functions instead of using its A1 notation.

    Are cell range names case sensitive? ›

    Answer: Explanation: Named ranges are not case sensitive and they can contain both upper and lower case letters. They cannot resemble any actual cell addresses such as "B3" or "AA12".

    What is the disadvantage of using named ranges? ›

    The other common criticism of named ranges is that formulas end up with lots of '+' and '@' symbols in their formula, as people don't understand them. All these symbols do is tell Excel to refer to the specific column of the range the formula is in rather than the entire row.

    Do named ranges increase file size? ›

    Typically, Named Ranges will not significantly increase file size. Sometimes, however, they get corrupted in some fashion and add significantly to the file size. We recently received a workbook which contained over 2,600 Named Ranges, many of which were hidden and included external links.

    What is the major disadvantage of the range? ›

    Answer and Explanation: The disadvantage of range is that it is extremely sensitive to outliers. This is because range is determined by subtracting the largest value from the smallest value.

    What is the difference between name range and table in Excel? ›

    Range in Excel means any group of selected cells. It is defined by the reference of the top-left cell and the bottom-right cell. For example, in the left-hand part of the image below, the data is in the range A1:C6. Excel table is a structured and pre-formatted dynamic range of cells that has its own name.

    Can use a named range instead of a cell address in a formula? ›

    You can use a named range instead of a cell address in a formula. Answer: The statement is true. MS Excel allows us to assign names to cells in a worksheet and use it for quickly locating specific cells by entering the names. This could be useful when working with large spreadsheets.

    What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Excel to build tables? ›

    The Advantages & Disadvantages of Spreadsheets
    • Advantage: Organizing Data. ...
    • Disadvantage: User Bias. ...
    • Advantage: Streamlines Calculations. ...
    • Disadvantage: Learning the Syntax Takes Skill. ...
    • Advantage: Multiple User Access. ...
    • Disadvantage: Lack of Security.

    What are two advantages to putting data in some type of table explain your answer? ›

    They can be used to highlight trends or patterns in the data and to make a manuscript more readable by removing numeric data from the text. Tables can also be used to synthesize existing literature, explain variables, or present the wording of survey questions.

    What are the four advantages of using tables in the presentation of data? ›

    Enable relationships to be seen easily. Condense detailed information and thus avoid the necessity for complex and repetitive sentences. Act as a summary of detailed information. Act as a welcome relief from pages and pages of text.

    What is a dynamic named range in Excel? ›

    What do You Mean by Excel Dynamic Named Range? Dynamic named range in Excel is the ranges that change as the data in the range changes, and the dashboard or charts or reports associated with them. So that is why it is called dynamic. So we can name the range from the name box, so the name is a dynamic name range.

    What is the use of range in Excel? ›

    Use Range (arg), where arg names the range, to return a Range object that represents a single cell or a range of cells. The following example places the value of cell A1 in cell A5. The following example fills the range A1:H8 with random numbers by setting the formula for each cell in the range.

    What is the use of range in function? ›

    Definition and Usage

    The range() function returns a sequence of numbers, starting from 0 by default, and increments by 1 (by default), and stops before a specified number.

    What are some real world benefits of using tables? ›

    Tables provide fast and efficient readability across issues displayed in rows and columns. They can serve as a common means for benefit-risk communications because of their simple structure, flexibility and the ease with which they can be adapted.

    What is the difference between named ranges and tables in Excel? ›

    A table is a defined grid of cells for data and formulas that automatically expands as you add to it and also automatically has the capacity to sort and filter. Creating a table also automatically adds a named range to your worksheet. A named range is just one or more cells to which you, or Excel, have assigned a name.

    Why is it important to have ranges for data? ›

    How useful is the range? The range generally gives you a good indicator of variability when you have a distribution without extreme values. When paired with measures of central tendency, the range can tell you about the span of the distribution.


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