A name is a meaningful shorthand that makes it much easier to understand the function of a cell reference, constant, formula, or table, each of which may be complicated to recognize at very first glance. The complying with information shows usual examples the names and how they can improve clarity.

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Example Type

Example v no name

Example through a name













Learn more about making use of names

Types of names

There space several species of name you can create and use.

defined name A name representing a cell, selection of cells, formula, or continuous value. Friend can produce your own identified name, or Excel can create a identified name because that you, such as when you set a print area.

Table name A surname for an Excel table, i m sorry is a collection of data about a specific subject stored in documents (rows) and also fields (columns). Excel creates a default Excel table name of Table1, Table2, and also so on, every time girlfriend insert an Excel table. You can adjust a table"s name to do it an ext meaningful. For much more information about Excel tables, see utilizing structured recommendations with Excel tables.

The limit of a name

All names have a scope, either to a specific worksheet (also referred to as the local worksheet level) or come the whole workbook (also referred to as the global workbook level). The border of a surname is the ar within i m sorry the name is well-known without qualification. Because that example:

If girlfriend have defined a name, such together Budget_FY08, and its limit is Sheet1, that name, if no qualified, is well-known only in Sheet1, but not in other sheets.

To usage a neighborhood worksheet surname in an additional worksheet, you can qualify it by coming before it through the worksheet name. For example:


If girlfriend have characterized a name, such together Sales_Dept_Goals, and also its border is the workbook, that name is recognized for all worksheets in the workbook, but not other workbooks.

A surname must constantly be distinct within that scope. Excel prevents you from defining a surname that already exists within the scope. However, you have the right to use the same name in different scopes. For example, friend can specify a name, such together GrossProfit, the is scoped come Sheet1, Sheet2, and also Sheet3 in the exact same workbook. Although each surname is the same, each name is distinct within the scope. You might do this to ensure the a formula that offers the name, GrossProfit, is constantly referencing the same cells at the neighborhood worksheet level.

You can even specify the very same name, GrossProfit, for the global workbook level, however again the limit is unique. In this case, however, there have the right to be a surname conflict. To deal with this conflict, through default Excel supplies the name identified for the worksheet since the local worksheet level takes precedence over the global workbook level. If you want to override the precedence and also use the workbook name, you have the right to disambiguate the name by prefixing the workbook name. For example:


You can override the local worksheet level for every worksheets in the workbook. One exemption is because that the very first worksheet, which constantly uses the regional name if over there is a name problem that can not be overridden.

You define a surname by making use of the:

identified Names box on the formula bar This is ideal used for creating a workbook level surname for a selected range.

Define name from selection You deserve to conveniently produce names from existing row and also column labels by using a selection of cell in the worksheet.

New surname dialog box This is best used for when you want more flexibility in creating names, such as specifying a neighborhood worksheet level scope or producing a surname comment.

Note: by default, names use absolute cabinet references.

You can enter a name by:

Typing keying the name, for example, together an discussion to a formula.

Using Formula AutoComplete usage the Formula AutoComplete drop-down list, wherein valid names space automatically detailed for you.

Selecting from the usage in Formula command pick a identified name indigenous a list easily accessible from the Use in Formula command in the Defined Names team on the Formulas tab.

The following is a perform of syntax rules for creating and also editing names.

valid characters The very first character of a name must be a letter, one underscore character (_), or a backslash (\). Remaining characters in the name have the right to be letters, numbers, periods, and underscore characters.

Tip: you cannot usage the uppercase and lowercase characters "C", "c", "R", or "r" as a identified name, due to the fact that they are offered as shorthand for choosing a heat or pillar for the right now selected cell as soon as you go into them in a Name or Go To text box.

Cell references disallowed Names cannot be the very same as a cell reference, such together Z$100 or R1C1.

Spaces room not precious Spaces are not permitted as part of a name. Usage the underscore personality (_) and period (.) as word separators, such as, Sales_Tax or First.Quarter.

Name length A name can contain up to 255 characters.

Case sensitivity Names have the right to contain uppercase and lowercase letters. Excel does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase characters in names. Because that example, if you create the name Sales and then another name referred to as SALES in the exact same workbook, Excel prompts friend to select a distinct name.

Define a surname for a cell or cell variety on a worksheet

Select the cell, variety of cells, or nonadjacent selections the you desire to name.

Click the Name box at the left finish of the formula bar.


Name box

Type the surname you desire to use to refer to your selection. Names can be approximately 255 personalities in length.

Press ENTER.

Note: You cannot surname a cabinet while girlfriend are an altering the components of the cell.

You can transform existing row and also column brand to names.

Select the range you want to name, consisting of the heat or pillar labels.

On the Formulas tab, in the Defined Names group, click Create indigenous Selection.

In the Create Names indigenous Selection dialog box, designate the location that has the brand by selecting the Top row, Left column, Bottom row, or Right column check box. A name produced by using this procedure refers only to the cells the contain values and excludes the present row and also column labels.

On the Formulas tab, in the Defined Names group, click Define Name.

In the New Name dialog box, in the Name box, kind the name you want to usage for your reference.

Note: Names can be up to 255 personalities in length.

To specify the limit of the name, in the Scope drop-down perform box, select Workbook or the surname of a worksheet in the workbook.

Optionally, in the Comment box, go into a descriptive comment approximately 255 characters.

In the Refers to box, do among the following:

To enter a cabinet reference, form the cell reference.

Tip: The current an option is gotten in by default. To enter other cell referrals as one argument, click Collapse Dialog

(which temporary shrinks the dialog box), choose the cells on the worksheet, and also then click Expand Dialog

To go into a constant, type = (equal sign) and then type the constant value.

To enter a formula, form = and then type the formula.

To finish and return come the worksheet, click OK.

Tip: To do the New Name dialog box broader or longer, click and drag the grip manage at the bottom.

Manage surname by utilizing the surname Manager dialog box

Use the Name Manager dialog crate to job-related with all the defined names and also table surname in a workbook. Because that example, you might want to uncover names through errors, check the value and reference the a name, see or edit descriptive comments, or recognize the scope. Girlfriend can likewise sort and also filter the perform of names, and also easily add, change, or delete names native one location.

To open up the Name Manager dialog box, top top the Formulas tab, in the Defined Names group, click Name Manager.

The surname Manager dialog box screens the complying with information about each name in a perform box:

This Column:


A characterized name, i m sorry is indicated by a characterized name icon.


A table name, which is suggested by a table surname icon.


Icon and Name

One of the following:


The present value the the name, such together the results of a formula, a cable constant, a cabinet range, one error, variety of values, or a placeholder if the formula cannot be evaluated. The following are representative examples:

"this is mine string constant"





Refers To

The current reference for the name. The following are representative examples:






A worksheet name, if the scope is the regional worksheet level.

"Workbook," if the limit is the global worksheet level.


Additional information around the name up to 255 characters. The adhering to are representative examples:

This value will expire on might 2, 2007.

Don"t delete! an essential name!

Based on the ISO certification test numbers.

You cannot use the Name Manager dialog box while girlfriend are transforming the materials of a cell.

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The Name Manager dialog box does not display names characterized in Visual an easy for Applications (VBA), or hidden names (the Visible residential or commercial property of the name is set to "False").