Applying Range Names to Formulas

Named ranges can be a great boon when you are writing formulas. For instance, if you assign the name TaxRate to cell A7, you can then use the name TaxRate in your formulas instead of A7. This makes your formulas (and their purpose) easier to understand when you are later working with them.

This approach is great if you have not yet created any formulas. What if you already have a bunch of formulas in your worksheet, and they already reference cell A7 instead of TaxRate? You could, of course, select each formula and edit them to refer to TaxRate instead of A7, but that could be a long process that is prone to mistakes. (My fat fingers often introduce mistakes that I never intended. :>))

The solution is to allow Excel to do the editing for you. It is easy to do; just follow these steps:

  1. Define the named range you want used in your worksheet.
  2. Select the cells that contain formulas.
  3. Display the Formulas tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the down-arrow at the right of the Define Name tool (in the Defined Names group) and then choose Apply Names. Excel displays the Apply Names dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Apply Names dialog box.

  6. Click OK.

That’s it; Excel examines your formulas and any reference to cell A7 is replaced with the name of A7, TaxRate.