Are they useful?

Hey all.
It’s 11:49 and I can’t sleep.
So why not learn about named ranges, right? 🙂

What are named ranges?

Named ranges is an excel function to make referring to range of cells easier.

Think of it as a name for a group (or range) of selected cells.
Think of it as a nickname for a group of cells.

So basically instead of the SUM formula of:
=SUM(A1:A5)
I could just name the range A1:A5 to kumquat and write my formula:
=SUM(kumquat)

Simple Named Range in Excel

Sometimes you will have more than one named ranges.
Usually you would use named ranges for:
“MainDataSet”
“WorkerNames”
“DepartmentNames”
“Months” etc, etc…

To select between them, while you writing a formula is F3.
Hit F3 inside of a formula and you will be presented with a little window where you can choose which named range you want to refer.
Like this:

Hit F3 in a formula to bring up the Named Ranges

The Naming convention

It is nothing special. The Named Range can’t contain spaces, and prohibited characters. Your usual wildcards, slashes semicolons and stuff.

The Range

The range can be a Single cell or a Consecutive range.
Unfortunately for named ranges we don’t have the ability to Ctrl+Select individual single cells and name them.

The Name Manager

Once you created your named ranges, you can manage them in the Name Manager.
This is a bit more extensive so if you want a thorough explanation of the Name Manager, go ahead and check out this post.

Cool fact about Named Ranges and zoom in excel

Little known, that if you zoom out on your worksheet to 30%, your named ranges will be visibly represented by shapes with their names written on them.
If I’m interviewing someone for excel, and I don’t have a practical test I always throw in this question. If the person knows what is the significance of 30% zoom in excel, he is good in my book. ,)

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