Excel Tip: 10 Quick Range Name Tricks

If you've ever used a range name in your Excel worksheet, you already know what a time saver this device is. Here are some suggested uses for range names that may speed up the time you spend on your worksheet even more. Don’t worry if you don't know how to name a range - that's covered in the first tip!

  1. Name a range in a hurry by first selecting (highlighting) the range, then clicking in the Name Box in the upper left corner of your Excel screen, and typing the name for the selected range. Press Enter when finished to save the name.

  2. Go to a range quickly by clicking on the down arrow in the Name Box at the upper left corner of your Excel screen (which displays a list of all range names in the worksheet) and clicking on the name of the range to which you want to go. The entire range will be highlighted and the upper left cell of the range will be active.

  3. Use a range name in a formula. Instead of typing a range of cell references, =SUM(C3:C249), for example, name that range, then the next time you need to refer to the range in a formula, simply type =SUM(expenses). Not only is the name easier for you to remember than the cell references, but also the formula will make more sense to an observer who didn't help create the worksheet.

  4. Use a range name to provide an absolute reference. Range names are always absolute. So if you copy the formula, =C12*expenses, down one cell, the new formula will read, =C13*expenses, and expenses will be defined in the same manner for each formula.

  5. Move a range by highlighting the range (see trick #2), then selecting Edit, Cut (or click the little scissors on the toolbar). Click once in a single cell of a new location, then choose Edit, Paste (or click the little clipboard button), and the entire range will relocate.

  6. Copy a range by highlighting the range (see trick #2), then selecting Edit, Copy (or click the copy button on the toolbar). Click once in a single cell of a new location, then choose Edit, Paste (or click the little clipboard button), and the entire range will be copied.

  7. Select a range for formatting by quickly highlighting the range (see trick #2). Once the range is highlighted, any formatting gesture you make, such as applying a shaded background or changing the number format to remove decimal places, will apply to the entire range.

  8. Show sum of a range by selecting the range, then looking down in the Status bar at the bottom of the screen. On the right side of the bar will appear a sum of the numbers in the selected cells.

  9. Print a range by first naming the range, then selecting it (see trick #2), then choosing File, Print from the menu, and choosing the Selection option from the Print what area of the Print window that appears.

  10. Remove a range name from your worksheet by choosing Insert, Name, Define from the menu. Click on the name you want to remove from the list provided, then click the Delete button.

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