What's the difference between a Table and a Named Range in Excel 2007? (2023)

2 Answers


I'd try googling again. Searching for "Excel 2007 named ranges" yields lots of results, as does "Excel 2007 tables."

They are pretty separate topics, although with some overlap, so that may be why your difference search isn't working. It's like if I researched "difference between bicycles and wheels" - bikes do have wheels, but wheels have many other uses.

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. A common one that Excel adds is "Print Area", if you have used the Set Print Area command. Named ranges can be individual cells that you've named to make formulas easier to read, e.g., instead of "=A1 + A2" if you've renamed both cells your formula could be "=Expenses + Income", just for example. Named ranges can also be created for groups of cells.

Both are very useful tools. Try googling them separately or consulting a basic Excel book and you should be able to get all the info you need.


  • Good first answer Doug!


    Apr 8, 2010 at 23:42

  • 2

    Good answer, and Tables do add a name to the named ranges list to avoid conflicting names when referenced externally, but they can still be identified as different by their icon. I added an answer too as my ideas were additional to yours, rather than commenting on your points.


    Apr 9, 2010 at 11:42

  • Nicely explained :)

    Dec 25, 2014 at 20:08

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Tables must exist as contiguous areas of cells on a sheet, and every column must have a heading (even if they are hidden by turning the heading row off). They have lots of features like including total rows, filter / sort arrows by default (without having to turn them on), the column headings replace the usual A, B, C if you scroll down, all sorts of stuff.

Named ranges do not necessarily refer to actual cells on a worksheet, althoug they often are used to do that for simple implementaitons:

Named ranges can be defined to refer to:- a single cell- a range of cells- another range (especially one in another workbook)- a constant- a formula which evaluates to a value, or text, or to point to a range (using OFFSET functions to produce dynamically expanding ranges is quite common).

You can use implicit intersections to refer to parts of a named range, but not to a Table (or at least, not in the same way). Structured references are useful, producing a syntax a bit like a query string, but can be clunky to use. 2010 has a better shorthand for referring to elements of the same table.

answered Apr 9, 2010 at 11:40

What's the difference between a Table and a Named Range in Excel 2007? (2)


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  • +1 for the additional comments, thanks for your input!

    Apr 9, 2010 at 15:24

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What's the difference between a Table and a Named Range in Excel 2007? ›

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.

What is the difference between table and named range 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.

Is a named range the same as a table? ›

The bottom line is that a named range can be very powerful in formulas. However, a table encompasses named ranges (they are utilized in how Excel defines tables) and adds quite a bit more functionality.

What does named range mean in Excel? ›

A named range is one or more cells that have been given a name. Using named ranges can make formulas easier to read and understand. They also provide simple navigation via the Name Box. In the example, the formula in F6 is: =MAX(sales) where "sales" is the named range C4:C10.

What is a table in Excel? ›

Excel Tables are containers for your data. The definition as a table shows Excel that all the data in the columns and rows you have marked are related. That's a big time-saving. First, you get a lot of list-related features automatically. And second, when you add a row, all formats and formulas are added automatically.

Where are named ranges in Excel? ›

You can find a named range by using the Go To feature—which navigates to any named range throughout the entire workbook. You can find a named range by going to the Home tab, clicking Find & Select, and then Go To. Or, press Ctrl+G on your keyboard.

Why convert a table to a range in Excel? ›

After you create an Excel table, you may only want the table style without the table functionality. To stop working with your data in a table without losing any table style formatting that you applied, you can convert the table to a regular range of data on the worksheet.

Why would you use named ranges? ›

Conclusion: naming ranges in Excel has many advantages, making your workbooks easier to read, making formulas faster to type and debug, and allowing to create ranges with variable-size to make your spreadsheets dynamic and easy to update.

Can you name a range in a table in Excel? ›

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. If you have only a header row at the top of the table, then just select Top row.

What is the difference between data table and table in Excel? ›

Although limited to a maximum of two different input cells, a data table enables you to test as many variable values as you want. Note. A data table isn't the same thing as an Excel table, which is purposed for managing a group of related data.

How many named ranges are there in Excel? ›

There are two types of named ranges and it is possible to use both types in the same workbook. Workbook - These can be referenced from any worksheet in the workbook. Worksheet - These are worksheet specific and can only be referenced on that particular worksheet.

Which of these is an advantage of using named ranges in Excel? ›

Named ranges can make it much easier to reuse a formula in a different worksheet. If you define names ahead of time in a worksheet, you can paste in a formula that uses these names and it will "just work". This is a great way to quickly get a formula working.

How do you manage named ranges in Excel? ›

On the Formulas tab, in the Defined Names group, click Name Manager. In the Name Manager dialog box, double-click the name you want to edit, or, click the name that you want to change, and then click Edit. In the Edit Name dialog box, in the Name box, type the new name for the reference.

What are the three types of tables you can use in Excel? ›

Types of Data Tables in Excel
  • One-variable data table.
  • Two-variable data table.

What does creating a table in Excel do? ›

You can create and format a table, to visually group and analyze data. Select a cell within your data. Select Home > Format as Table. Choose a style for your table.

What is table explain? ›

A table has records (rows) and fields (columns). Fields have different types of data, such as text, numbers, dates, and hyperlinks. A record: Contains specific data, like information about a particular employee or a product.

What are named ranges in Excel documents and how can they be used? ›

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 I select a table or range in Excel? ›

To select a range, select a cell, then with the left mouse button pressed, drag over the other cells. Or use the Shift + arrow keys to select the range. To select non-adjacent cells and cell ranges, hold Ctrl and select the cells.

What is one advantage of using a data table? ›

Data tables are important because they help users collect essential information quickly. This is especially true when you're using complex and extensive data sets. Data tables make the retrieval process of information simpler.

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

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.

What is a benefit of naming cells and ranges? ›

By using names, you can make your formulas much easier to understand and maintain. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table.

What is not allowed in range name in Excel? ›

The following are not allowed: Space characters are not allowed as part of a name. Names can't look like cell addresses, such as A$35 or R2D2. C, c, R, r -- can't be used as names -- Excel uses them as selection shortcuts.

What characters are not allowed in range names in Excel? ›

Guidelines for creating names

The first character of a name must be a letter or an underscore character (_). Remaining characters in the name can be letters, numbers, periods, and underscore characters. In some languages, Excel may replace certain characters with underscores. Spaces are not allowed.

Can a pivot table be a named range? ›

All you have to do is just create a pivot table with your source data and after that change the source with the named range using the same method which I have used in the first method of tables. Once you add new data to your source sheet, just refresh your pivot table.

Is a table also called a database in Excel? ›

A table, also called a database, is an organized structure of rows and columns of related data in a worksheet; for example, a list of employee information.

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.

Can you use named ranges in charts? ›

However, since charts cannot use OFFSET functions as inputs directly, we need to use Named Ranges – this allows us to create an array that is defined by the OFFSET function, and then use this Named Range (thus a “Dynamic” Named Range) in our chart formula (i.e., to reference the array calculated by the OFFSET).

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.

Can you create multiple range names at the same time? ›

Set Multiple Named Ranges at the Same Time

The simple solution to this is to use a built-in feature by Excel called “Create from Selection” under the Formulas tab within the Named Ranges group. You'll see that the named ranges have been applied to the values in the table.

Which option allows you to easily manage your named ranges? ›

You can easily do this by using a feature called the "Name Manager." You can find the Name Manager on the Formulas tab of the ribbon. Just click to open. You can also open the Name Manager using the keyboard shortcut Control + F3.

Are named ranges absolute in Excel? ›

By default, named ranges behave like absolute references and don't change when you copy formulas. In addition, they make your formulas easier to read.

What are the most important features of using Excel tables? ›

10 most useful features of Excel tables
  • Integrated sorting and filtering options. ...
  • Column headings are visible while scrolling. ...
  • Easy formatting (Excel table styles) ...
  • Automatic table expansion to include new data. ...
  • Quick totals (total row) ...
  • Calculating table data with ease (calculated columns)
Mar 20, 2023

Can you use Excel like a database? ›

Excel is a tabular tool, so the best layout is a database table. All you need to do is create the columns and rows, which will act as the database field and then enter data. Once your data is in, you can search the database, review your information and even summarise data.

How do I keep a table formatting in Excel? ›

On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Format as Table. Click the table style that you want to use. Tips: Auto Preview - Excel will automatically format your data range or table with a preview of any style you select, but will only apply that style if you press Enter or click with the mouse to confirm it.

Why not to use tables in Excel? ›

  • Structured references to table cells don't have an "absolute" setting, so it's a bit trickier to copy them across a column.
  • Tables won't expand automatically on protected sheets, even if the cells below the table are unlocked.
  • You can't group and copy or move multiple sheets, if any sheet contains an Excel table.
Nov 23, 2022

Does tables in Excel helps us to organize data? ›

It helps in segregating the information collected in Rows and Columns and put them under a certain category that you would like to.

What is table used for? ›

A table is an item of furniture with a raised flat top and is supported most commonly by 1 or 4 legs (although some can have more), used as a surface for working at, eating from or on which to place things.

What are the two types of tables explain? ›

The statistical tables may further be classified into two broad classes namely simple tables and complex tables. A simple table summarizes information on a single characteristic and is also called a univariate table.

Why is it called a table? ›

As reported from the NOAD, the origin of the word table is from Old English tabule (flat slab, inscribed tablet), which derives from the Latin tabula (plank, tablet, list); it has been reinforced in Middle English from the Old French table.

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

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.

What is the advantage of using named ranges in a spreadsheet? ›

Conclusion: naming ranges in Excel has many advantages, making your workbooks easier to read, making formulas faster to type and debug, and allowing to create ranges with variable-size to make your spreadsheets dynamic and easy to update.

What is one advantage of using named ranges in a spreadsheet? ›

Named ranges have many advantages. They can help make formulas easier to understand, especially for those who are not familiar with Excel. Additionally, if the range of cells changes, you only need to update the named range once, and all formulas that reference it will automatically update.

What are the disadvantages of Excel name ranges? ›

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 purpose of naming a range of data? ›

By using names, you can make your formulas much easier to understand and maintain. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table. Once you adopt the practice of using names in your workbook, you can easily update, audit, and manage these names.

Why are named ranges useful? ›

Named ranges are a useful, but often underutilized, feature of Microsoft Excel. Named ranges can make formulas easier to understand (and debug), simplify the creation of complicated spreadsheets, and simplify your macros.

What is not allowed in names of ranges? ›

Named ranges can include numbers but cannot include any spaces.

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.


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