Use apply names to create readable formulas [quick tip]


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

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.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Share this tip with your colleagues

Excel and Power BI tips - Chandoo.org Newsletter

Get FREE Excel + Power BI Tips

Simple, fun and useful emails, once per week.

Learn & be awesome.

Welcome to Chandoo.org

Thank you so much for visiting. My aim is to make you awesome in Excel & Power BI. I do this by sharing videos, tips, examples and downloads on this website. There are more than 1,000 pages with all things Excel, Power BI, Dashboards & VBA here. Go ahead and spend few minutes to be AWESOME.

Read my storyFREE Excel tips book

Chandoo is an awesome teacher

– Jason

Excel formula list - 100+ examples and howto guide for you

100 Excel Formulas List

From simple to complex, there is a formula for every occasion. Check out the list now.

20 Excel Templates

Calendars, invoices, trackers and much more. All free, fun and fantastic.

IRR and data tables in Excel

Using IRR with Data Tables – Modeling Cash-flow Scenarios in Excel

Do you want to simulate multiple cash-flow scenarios and calculate the rate of return? Then this article is for you. In this page, learn how to,

  • Introduction to IRR & XIRR functions
  • Calculate rate of return from a set of cash-flows with XIRR
  • Simulating purchase or terminal value changes with data tables
  • Apply conditional formatting to visualize the outputs
  • Common issues and challenges faced when using XIRR

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!

Leave a Reply