Excel: Use a named range for quick navigation and selection

If you use larger workbooks in Excel, you probably spend a fair amount of time scrolling to the same locations to reference information. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to jump to a specific area in a few simple clicks? You can. And it doesn’t take long to add that ability.

I name a cell, or a range of cells, and let Excel do the scrolling and selecting. For example, when working with multiple sheets in a workbook, if I need to frequently navigate to a specific sheet and a specific cell, I’ll name that cell instead of navigating to the sheet and scrolling to find it. Or if I frequently print a portion of a worksheet, I’ll name the range of cells so Excel will quickly make the selection for me instead of manually selecting the range.

NoteTypically, a named range make it easier to enter and identify a cell or range in a formula, such as =Sum(JanSales) instead of =Sum(B2:B550).

To name a cell or range of cells, follow these steps.

  1. Select the cell or cells on your worksheet.
  2. Click in the Name box, the text box above column A and to the right of the formula bar, and type the name for your range and press Enter.

    TipThe name for your range cannot contain spaces. Use an underscore in place of a space or capitalize the first letter of each word. Additionally, it should start with an alpha character and it can’t be a cell reference such as AB123.

To use your named range, click or tap the down arrow next to the Name box and select your named range. To use a named range in a formula, simply type the name in place of a cell address or cell range in your formula.

TipTo edit your named range, use the Name Manager located on the Formula tab in the Defined Names group. For Mac Excel 2011, use the Define Name dialog box located on the Insert menu, under the Name submenu.

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