Use apply names to create readable formulas [quick tip]

Excel Howtos - 5 comments

We all know that using named ranges is a good practice. So you went ahead and created names for every value in your complex workbook. But now, what about those formulas which still refer to cells by their addresses? Here is a quick tip to make your formulas readable by replacing cell addresses with the names in one go.

Use Apply Names feature.

apply-names-in-excel-demoHere is how.

  1. Select the cells containing formulas
  2. Go to Formulas > Define Name > Apply Names
  3. Hold Shift and select all the names
  4. Click OK
  5. Your formulas will now have names instead of cell references

See the demo aside to understand it.


Do you use apply names feature?

Most of the times, I create names first and then write formulas. But as models or workbooks evolve, I often have to apply names. In all such cases, I use “Apply Names” feature as it is faster and easier.

What about you? Do you use apply names feature? Please share your experiences and tips in the comments section.

Want more tips? Check out our Quick Tips page for many more interesting, simple & powerful Excel tips.


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

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5 Responses to “Use apply names to create readable formulas [quick tip]”

  1. wookiee says:

    that's a nifty trick. thanks for sharing!

  2. Dr. Demento says:

    Ctrl-Shift-F3 allows you to create names based on values in a col/row of choice(s).

  3. Sally says:

    Wow - I love this. Will definately be using it

  4. John says:

    Hi Chandoo, you are excel-made-easy. i love your website and i come there for excel tips. Thanks

  5. Sergey says:

    For a large list of names, is there a way to select a range (or entire list), instead of clicking each one individually?

    PS Thank you for all your work on this site!

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