How to Name a Cell in Excel (2 Easy Ways)

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Naming a cell refers to assigning a custom name or label to a specific cell or range of cells. Instead of using traditional cell references like “A1” or “B2,” you can create a more meaningful and descriptive name for a cell, making it easier to understand and reference in formulas or data analysis.

In this Excel tutorial, you will learn how to name a cell using Excel’s Name Box feature and the Defined Names command.

In our dataset, we have multiple Products with this sold Quantity, Unit Price, and Total Price. Here’s an overview of naming cell D5 using the Name Box.

Overview image of How to Name a Cell in Excel

Why Naming a Cell in Excel?

In Excel, we work with a very big dataset containing numerous rows and columns. In that case, finding and referencing a specific category data type gets quite hard. Naming a cell in Excel offers several advantages:

  • To make operations easier, it’s convenient to assign a name to a single cell or a range of cells depending on their data types.
  • After assigning names, we can simply type the names to find or reference them wherever we want.
  • Understanding the operations or arguments we incorporate into formulas is also clear and understandable.

2 Ways to Name a Cell in Excel

We will use the Name Box and Defined Names feature to name a cell. The explanation of both ways is given below:

1. Using Name Box Feature to Name a Cell

The Name Box in Excel is a small, rectangular box located to the left of the formula bar. Its primary function is to display and allow users to navigate cell references and named ranges within a spreadsheet. We will assign Quantity_carrot as the Name of the selected cell (i.e. D5).

To name a cell using the Name Box feature follow the steps below:

  1. Select a cell that you want to assign a name to.
  2. Go to the Name Box.
  3. Type any name and press Enter.

The name you have entered has been successfully assigned to the chosen cell.

Name Box-How to Name a Cell in Excel

  • Following the same way, we assigned Unit_Price_carrot as the Name for cell E5.
  • Now, you can use the cell name in an Excel formula Like: =PRODUCT(Quantity_carrot,Unit_Price_carrot)

Names used as formula

Note: You can assign names to a range of cells following the same process.

2. Using Defined Names Command

The Defined Names command in Microsoft Excel enables users to assign names to cells, ranges of cells, functions, or constant values. This can make it easier to reference and use these elements in your formulas, especially in large and complex spreadsheets.

We will explore 2 options to name a cell using the Defined Names command below:

2.1 Using the “Define Name” Option

To name a cell using the Define Name option, follow the steps below:

  1. Select a cell.
  2. Go to Formulas Tab > Select Defined Name drop-down > Define Name.Define Name-How to Name a Cell in Excel Then the New Name dialog box will appear.
  3. From the New Name dialog box:
    • Type any name in the ‘Name‘ designated box. Select the worksheet name as Scope.
    • Click OK.Assigning name in the New Name dialog box

So the name has been assigned to the selected cell.

Final image after applying the Define Name option

  • Alternatively, you can get the New Name dialog box by following the below steps:
  1. Go to Formulas Tab > Select Defined Names drop-down > Name Manager.Name Manager-How to Name a Cell in Excel
  2. Click on the New tab from the Name Manager dialog box.Name Manager window

After that, you can apply a name to a cell like the “Define Name” method.

Note: You can use keyboard shortcuts CTRL+F3 and ⌘+ Fn+F3 to bring up the Name Manager dialog box in Windows and MACs respectively.

2.2 Using the “Create from Selection” Option

The Create from Selection option in Excel is a convenient tool that allows you to create named ranges based on the labels in your data. This is particularly useful when you have a table of data, and the first row or column contains labels that you want to use as the names for your ranges. In our dataset, we’ll assign the product names as the defined names for the quantities.

To name a cell using the Create from Selection option, follow the instructions below:

  1. First, select a range.
  2. Go to the Formulas tab > Defined Names drop-down > Create from Selection.Create from selection-How to Name a Cell in Excel
  3. In the Create Names from Selection dialog box:
    • Check a box according to your preference. We have checked the Left column box.
    • Press OK.
      By doing so, the entries in the Quantity column will get the Product names as their assigned names.Create names from selection window
  • You can click on the Name Box to see all the assigned names. You’ll find all the Product Names assigned as names for the quantities.

Names in Name box

  • You can use them in a formula like this: =PRODUCT(Carrot,E5)

Names in formula

Note: Keyboard shortcuts CTRL+SHIFT+F3 make the Create from Selection dialog box appear in Windows.

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In this article, we use multiple Excel features to name a cell in Excel. Excel’s Name Box feature does the job with just one step. Other Excel features like Define Name, Name Manger, or Create from Selection do the job in more than one step. Hope these above-discussed methods satisfy your quest. Comment, if you have further queries or have something to add.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I edit or delete a cell name later?

Yes, you can edit or delete cell names. Use the “Define Name” option to manage existing names. Simply select the name you want to modify or remove and make the necessary changes

Can I use named cells across multiple worksheets?

Yes, you can use named cells across multiple worksheets within the same workbook. Simply refer to the named cell with the syntax “SheetName!NamedCell.”

Can I use spaces or special characters in cell names?

Yes, you can use spaces and certain special characters in cell names.

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

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