Excel Tips: What are Named Ranges?

Lesson 17: What are Named Ranges?


What are named ranges?

You may have noticed that a typical spreadsheet can have lots of different cell references. Many of these references are sort of generic. As a result, it can make formulas harder to interpret at a glance. 

To make things easier, you can add a more intuitive, descriptive name to any cell range, and then use those named ranges in your formulas.

For example, rather than your cell range being named “$A$2:$T$1000,” you could simply rename it “Earnings.”

Watch the video below to learn how to create and use this specific feature.


  1. Select a cell or cell range that you want to name.
  2. Then type the desired name into the Name box, which is located to the left of the formula bar. (Spaces aren’t allowed in names, so keep the new name one word). Here’s an example: 
  3. Press Enter to save the name.
  4. You can then use the new name whenever you want to refer to that cell range. Try it out in a formula to see if it’s working correctly. The new name may even pop up when you’re typing it in.

If you ever need to change a named range, go to the Formulas tab and click Name Manager. You’ll see a list of names in the workbook, as well as some tools to edit or delete the names.

Now when you click on the formula in the future, the name range makes it easier to quickly recognize what’s included. Next up, we’ll show you a trick for finding inconsistent data in Excel.