Range names must begin with _____.

The Name Manager deserve to make spreadsheets simpler to follow, however Excel modellers should know just how — and also, even more importantly, as soon as — to correctly use the tool. By Liam Bastick, FCMA, CGMA

If you were to ask modelling professionals around the merits of making use of variety names, you would certainly discover that opinion is strongly separated. In spreadsheets, supplied appropriately and sparingly, variety names deserve to administer great worth because they have the right to make formulas much easier to review. In macros (not debated here), they are essential. Overusage, on the various other hand, can cause end-user confusion.

You watching: Range names must begin with _____.

Range names are names offered to refer to cell references, formula outcomes, or worths. They are frequently used to stop hard-coded values showing up in formulas and to make formulas clearer in basic. They are stored in what is well-known as the Name Manager in Excel.


Users may produce these names through the Name Box (circled in the screenshot above) drop-down menus and/or simply usage the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F3 in all versions of Excel, and then click the New button in the Name Manager dialog box, as shown in the screenswarm listed below.


Clicking on New (displayed in the screenswarm above) reasons the complying with dialog box to appear:



Keep in mind the second area (Scope). All names have a scope, either to a details worksheet (also referred to as the local worksheet level) or to the whole workbook (likewise called the worldwide workbook level). The scope of a name is the area within which the name is recognised without qualification.

For example, if you have defined a selection name as “Profit” through its scope as Sheet1, quite than Workbook, then it will be recognised as “Profit” only in Sheet1 (ie, without qualification).

To use this neighborhood name in one more worksheet, you should qualify it by coming before it with the localised worksheet name:


If you have actually defined a name, such as “Cashflow”, and its scope is the workbook, that name is recognised for all worksheets in that workbook (yet not for any kind of various other workbook). If the scope wregarding a worksheet (say, Sheet1), then the selection name would certainly be “Sheet1!Cashflow” rather. As such, workbook scope provides for clearer variety names and also stays clear of confusion.

A name need to constantly be distinctive within its scope. Excel avoids you from specifying a name that is not unique within its scope. However before, you have the right to usage the very same name through various scopes. For example, you deserve to define a name, such as “Profit”, that is scoped to Sheet1, Sheet2, and also Sheet3 in the very same workbook. Although each name is the very same, each name is distinctive within its scope. You can perform this to ensure that a formula that offers the name “GrossProfit”, for instance, is constantly referencing the very same cells at the local worksheet level.

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You deserve to even specify the same name, such as “Profit”, for the worldwide workbook level, but aobtain this scope is distinct. In this instance, there may be a name problem. To fix this conflict, Excel provides the name that is characterized for the worksheet by default. The regional worksheet level takes precedence over the global workbook level. This deserve to be circumvented by adding a presolve to the name, eg, rename it “WorkbookFile_Profit” rather.

It is possible to override the neighborhood worksheet level for all worksheets in the workbook, except for the initially worksheet. This will certainly constantly use the regional name if tright here is a name dispute and cannot be overridden.

It is strongly recommended that you always attempt to create array names on a workbook scope level only. More, where feasible, protect against making use of range names in (sections of) worksheets that will be replicated to various other worksheets or workpublications. You will certainly confuse Excel, the finish user, and many importantly, yourself!

Care with names

The name string need to begin via a letter or underscore character. Remaining characters in the name have the right to be letters, numbers, periods, and underscore personalities. Spaces are not allowed, however 2 words deserve to be joined via an underscore (_) or duration (.). For instance, to enter the name “Cash Flow” you should enter “Cash_Flow” or “Cash.Flow”.

You cannot usage a name that could otherwise be confused as a cell reference; for instance, “Day1”, as this is currently a cell referral (many type of people have actually tried!).

Tright here shows up to be no limit to the variety of names you can specify, yet a name may contain no even more than 255 personalities. Names have the right to contain uppercase and lowerinstance letters, however Excel does not differentiate between upperinstance and also lowerinstance characters in names. For instance, if you have developed the international name “Profit” and then develop another global name called “PROFIT” in the same workbook, the second name will certainly be rejected as names have to be distinct, irrespective of capitalisation.

It is not a syntaxes problem, however I strongly recommfinish assumed is offered to adding prefixes to range names. Regular readers will certainly note that my list array names always start through “LU_” wright here “LU” represents “Look Up”. Similarly, I use “BC_” for “Base Cell” when functioning with the OFFSET attribute.

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By using these prefixes, I understand also the purpose of the variety name, and also names with a prevalent objective are grouped together in a list. This is not to say all variety names have to contain a presolve. “Tax_Rate”, for circumstances, makes feeling on its very own, and including a predeal with would just detract from the name offered, perhaps confutilizing the end user.

Creating array names quickly

There is a nifty shortreduced for developing array names utilizing existing names. Consider the following list: