Create Names From Excel Labels

This week I’m working on a giant Excel workbook, and my client wants all the data entry cells named. There are about 600 cells to name, so I’m looking for ways to same some time.

A quick way to name a cell is to click in the Name Box, type the name, the press the Enter key. In the screen shot below, cell C4 is being named as FullName.

Name Box

Create From Selection

Even quicker is to use the Create Names feature, and name the cells based on the labels in adjacent cells .

Here, the cells with labels, and the data entry cells, are selected (B4:C8).

Select Labels and Cells

Then, on the Ribbon, click the Formulas tab, then click Create From Selection. Or, in Excel 2003, click Insert | Name | Create.

Create From Selection

In the Create From Selection dialog box, select the location of the labels. In this example, the labels are in the left column of the selected cells. Then click OK to create the names.

Names in Left Column

Name a Range of Cells

In this example, I named a single cell with each label. You can select multiple cells adjacent to each label, and the label will name the range of cells.

Valid Characters in Names

If the labels contains spaces, they’re replaced with an underscore.

Underscore in Created Name

Other invalid characters, such as & and # will be removed or replaced by an underscore character.

For more information on naming cells, see the Learn about syntax rules for names section in the Microsoft article, Define and use Names in formulas.

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6 Responses

  1. jeff weir says:

    How come I didn’t know that? That is a real timesaver. Thanks. You might want to add in your article that it works for ranges too.

  2. Thanks Jeff, and I’ve added a note about ranges.

  3. This is one of those great tips you always forget to use. I have known about this for some time, but I can never get in the habit of using it. Damned!

  4. teylyn says:

    All that blog reading finally paying off! This is something I actually do know and even practice sometimes.

  5. Contextures Blog » Create List of Names In a Workbook says:

    […] Create Names From Excel Labels […]

  6. Contextures Blog » Compare Budgets With Excel Scenarios says:

    […] the Scenario Summary shown above, the changing cells are shown as addresses. If you name the value cells, the Scenario Summary will show those names, instead of the cell […]

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