How to Assign Names to Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Assigning names to cells in Excel can make your spreadsheet easier to navigate and understand. Instead of using cell references like A1 or B2, you can give a cell a name that describes its content or purpose. You can name a single cell, a range of cells, a constant value, or a formula. After naming a cell, you can use its name in formulas and functions, making them more readable and easier to manage.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Assign Names to Cells in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand the benefits of naming cells in Excel. It simplifies the process of referring to cells, especially when dealing with large and complex spreadsheets. It also makes it easier to remember what each cell or range is for, which can be a lifesaver when you’re revisiting a spreadsheet after some time.

Step 1: Select the Cell or Range

Click on the cell or range of cells that you want to assign a name to.

Selecting the correct cell or range is crucial because the name you assign will only apply to that particular selection. Make sure you’ve got the right cell(s) highlighted before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Open the Name Box

Look for the Name Box above the spreadsheet grid, to the left of the formula bar.

The Name Box is where you’ll enter the name for your cell or range. It’s a small text box that might go unnoticed if you’re not looking for it, but it’s mighty in functionality.

Step 3: Type in the Name

Click on the Name Box and type in the name you want to assign to the selected cell or range.

Keep in mind that cell names cannot include spaces, and they must start with a letter or an underscore. Avoid using names that could be confused with cell references (like A1 or R2D2).

Step 4: Press Enter

Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to apply the name to your selected cell or range.

Once you press Enter, the name is officially assigned, and you can start using it in your formulas and functions right away.

After completing these steps, the cell or range you selected now has a name. This name can be used in formulas and functions throughout the spreadsheet, making it easier to understand and maintain.

Tips: How to Assign Names to Cells in Excel

  • Ensure that the names you choose are unique and descriptive so you can easily remember what each name refers to.
  • Use underscores or camelCase (like thisIsCamelCase) to separate words in a name, since spaces are not allowed.
  • You can also name cells using the Name Manager under the Formulas tab for a more advanced approach.
  • If you need to rename a cell, simply repeat the steps and type in a new name.
  • Remember that named cells are global to the entire workbook, so you can use them across different sheets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I make a mistake while naming a cell?

Don’t worry – you can always rename a cell or range by following the same steps and typing a new name in the Name Box.

Can I delete a name that I’ve assigned to a cell?

Yes, you can delete a name by going to the Name Manager, selecting the name, and clicking on “Delete.”

Is there a limit to how many cells I can name?

No, there’s no limit – you can name as many cells as you need to help organize your spreadsheet.

Can I use named cells in formulas?

Absolutely! Named cells can make your formulas much easier to read and manage. Instead of using cell references like A1, you can use the name you’ve assigned to that cell.

Are named cells case-sensitive?

No, they are not. Whether you type the name in uppercase or lowercase, Excel will recognize it as the same name.


  1. Select the Cell or Range
  2. Open the Name Box
  3. Type in the Name
  4. Press Enter


There you have it – a straightforward guide on how to assign names to cells in Excel. By following these steps, you can transform your spreadsheets from confusing grids of letters and numbers into organized tables that are easy to navigate and understand. Naming cells can help prevent errors in formulas, save you time when working with complex data, and make your spreadsheets much more user-friendly.

Remember, a well-named cell is like a well-labeled file – it’s much easier to find and use when you need it. So next time you’re working on a spreadsheet, take a moment to assign meaningful names to your cells. It might just be the Excel productivity hack you didn’t know you needed.

For those looking to further enhance their Excel skills, consider exploring dynamic named ranges or diving into Excel’s Name Manager for more advanced naming techniques. And if you ever get stuck or need a refresher, this article will be here to guide you through the process once again. Now go out there and give your cells some identity – happy naming!

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