How to Name a Group of Cells in Excel (3 Easy Methods)

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!

A typical Excel spreadsheet may contain formulas that are made of different cell ranges. It can be difficult to remember these cell ranges and re-use them.  Naming a group of cells in Excel could make formulas more readable, easy to understand, and maintainable. Although naming cells is one of the most useful features in Excel, it is not commonly used. In this article, we will show you how to name a group of cells in Excel through 3 easy methods (with one bonus) and use these named cells with an example at the end.

how to name a group of cells in excel

We are going to name two groups of cells of this dataset through 3 easy methods. After that, we’ll use those named cells in a formula to see how it makes our formula easy to read, understand, and maintain.
The dataset represents 7 soccer players with their career goals and the number of matches played to score these goals until July 2020. From this, we’ll be able to calculate the number of matches required for each player to score a goal.

Note: Naming cells should follow the naming convention defined by Microsoft Excel.

Sample Dataset

1. Using the Name Box to Name a Group of Cells in Excel  

This method shows, how we can name a group of cells in Excel by typing a name in the Name Box. Let’s begin:

  • At first, we selected a range of cells by dragging the mouse (here C5:C11). We see in the NameBox(on the top-left corner of the worksheet), it only shows the column reference C5.

Name a group of cells in excel

  • Then, type a name in NameBox (Goals, in this example) and hit Enter.

Use Namebox to name a group of cells in excel

  • Here, if we select the cell group again, the NameBox shows the given name(Goals).

Use Namebox to name a group of cells

Read More: How to Name a Column in Excel

2. Applying the Excel Define Name Option to Name a Group of Cells  

By using the Define Name option in the Formula tab, we can name a range of cells in MS Excel. Let’s follow along:

  • Firstly, we selected the Formulas tab and then, click the Defined Names option.

Use Define Name Feature

  • The previous step would open up a dialog box, where you put your desired name. We put Goals in the input box here. Finally, press OK to finish the process.

Edit Name in Define Name Feature

  • Now, we can see the named group of cells.

Use Define Name Feature

Read More: How to Edit Named Range in Excel

3. Naming a Group of Cells in Excel with Excel Name Manager 

Another way to get a named group of cells is to use the Name Manager in the Formulas tab in Excel. Here is the complete guide:

  • In the first step, we selected a range of cells(C5:C11),  the Formulas tab and then, the Name Manager option.

Use Name Manager to name a group of cells in excel

  • Then, from the Name Manager window, click the New button.

Use Name Manager

  • Hence, a new window popped up where we entered our desired name(Goals) and clicked OK to save.

Add Name in Name Manager

  • Finally, we could give a name to a group of cells(C5:C11) as Matches.

Let’s Check:

The above 3 methods enabled us to name C5:C11 cells as Goals.

  • Similarly, we named D5:D11 as Matches following any of the three methods.

Use Namebox

  • Then, let’s divide the Goals column by the Matches Played column to get Goals per Match for each player. In the cell E5, we type the following formula

Apply Formula using Defined Cell Group Names

  • After that, hit Enter. Then, apply the same formula in E6:E11 by dragging the Autofill Handler.

Apply Formula using Defined Cell Group NamesThat’s how we can make our complex formulas more edible.

How to Apply Create From Selection Option to Give Name to Grouped Cells in Excel

If your data is organized in a tabular form, this bonus method will enable you to give a name to each cell of a column corresponding to another column’s cells.  Let’s follow the example to make it clear to understand:

  • Here, we selected two columns B5:B11 and C5:C11, and then from the Formulas tab got the Create from Selection option.

Use Create from Selection to name a group of cells in excel

  • After that, we selected Left Column from the Create Names from Selection tab. And don’t forget to click OK.

Use Create from Selection

  • Finally, if we select any of the cells in the Goals column, the NameBox shows the corresponding name of the player from the Player Name column. The Player column is left to the Goals column, that’s why we selected the left column option in the previous step.

Use Create from Selection

Read More: Define Names with the Create from Selection Tool in Excel

Download Practice Workbook


In this article, we tried to illustrate how the practice of naming a group of cells in Excel could make formulas easy to read, understand, and maintain. Now you know three easy methods how to name a group of cells in Excel. If you have any further queries or suggestions, don’t forget to comment below.

Related Articles

<< Go Back to Named Range | Excel Formulas | Learn Excel

What is ExcelDemy?

ExcelDemy - Learn Excel & Get Excel Solutions Center provides online Excel training , Excel consultancy services , free Excel tutorials, free support , and free Excel Templates for Excel professionals and businesses. Feel free to contact us with your Excel problems.
Al Arafat Siddique
Al Arafat Siddique

Al Arafat Siddique, BSc, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, has worked on the ExcelDemy project for two years. He has written over 85+ articles for ExcelDemy. Currently, he is working as a software developer. He is leading a team of six members to develop Microsoft Office Add-ins, extending Office applications to interact with office documents. Other assigned projects to his team include creating AI-based products and online conversion tools using the latest... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF