Excel tips and tricks 3: Naming cells

Naming cells is a pretty cool thing! Last semester I wondered how my professor was able to simply type in the name of a value (like CO2emissions) without specifying a cell (like B1). Turns out, you can give your cells their own names instead of using the default names like A1! And so much more useful, too. “B1” can quickly become meaningless, especially if you have a lot of data. So let’s give our important cells meaningful names!

It’s actually REALLY easy--in the same bar as the Formula bar (where you input data) but to the very left is another box that typically says what cell you have highlighted in typical Excel naming format (Column-Row), such as A1. All you have to do to name a cell is click on that box and type in your own name, like dol_p_yr. You can’t use spaces, but underscores are very useful because if you separate dolpyr into dol_p_yr, then you can search within the name rather than the whole name. If you searched for “dol”, only dol_p_yr would show up, not dolpyr. In OpenOffice Calc, the Name Box is in the same place as in Excel.

Where to name your cells in ExcelWhere to name your cells in Excel

openoffice calc name cells: Naming cells in OpenOffice Calcopenoffice calc name cells: Naming cells in OpenOffice Calc

How to use your named cellsHow to use your named cells

The final resultThe final result

Sources: Excel Help, Hazel