The name-game

In Excel, when the number of ranges build up, or when you use a workbook you didn’t create, it can be difficult to recall the location and underlying data. Not being able to recall the location of specific value or a range becomes a problem when you want to change assumptions or data defined in it.

Did you know that you can assign a specific, logical, or easy to remember name to an Excel range? In doing so, you can simplify referencing and better understand formulas when trying to locate the range.

There are three different ways that Excel makes locating cells (values) and named ranges, easier: the Name box, the Dialog box, and the Name Manager.

  • The Name Manager allows you to work with all the defined names and table names in a workbook to find names with errors, confirm the value and reference of a name, view or edit descriptive comments, or determine the scope.
  • Both the Name box and the Dialog box allow you to navigate to the searched for item.

But the fastest way to navigate around your worksheet to such locations as a specific value or a named range, is through the Name box.

Through the Name box

The Name box is in the top left corner of your worksheet, next to the Formula bar.

Excel Name box

When selecting a range in an Excel worksheet, the name of that range appears in the Name box.

Excel range name shown in Name Box

You can use the Name box to speedily get you to a specified range to identify and edit the information connected to it as necessary.

Be ready to give a name

There are two approaches to navigating to a named range through the Name box:

1. Click on the drop-down menu arrow on the right side of the Name box, and select the name you want to navigate to from the drop-down list:

Excel Name box drop-down menu

2. Type the exact name of the named range you want to navigate to in the Name box, and press Enter.

Note: If you don’t enter the exact name of the range, you will give the currently selected cell the name you’ve just typed into the Name box, so be careful.

Name it and keep going

While there are many ways to navigate through your Excel workbook, if you are looking for a specific value or named range, using the Name Box is the solution.

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