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Chapter 2. Using Range Names > Defining a Range Name

Defining a Range Name

Range names can be quite flexible, but you need to follow a few restrictions and guidelines:

  • The name can be a maximum of 255 characters.

  • The name must begin with either a letter or the underscore character (_). For the rest of the name, you can use any combination of characters, numbers, or symbols, except spaces. For multiple-word names, separate the words by using the underscore character or by mixing case (for example, Cost_Of_Goods or CostOfGoods). Excel doesn't distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters in range names.

  • Don't use cell addresses (such as Q1) or any of the operator symbols (such as +, –, *, /, <, >, and &) because these could cause confusion if you use the name in a formula.

  • To make typing easier, try to keep your names as short as possible while still retaining their meaning. TotalProfit04 is faster to type than Total_Profit_For_Fiscal_Year_2004, and it's certainly clearer than the more cryptic TotPft04.

  • Don't use any of Excel's built-in names: Auto_Activate, Auto_Close, Auto_Deactivate, Auto_Open, Consolidate_Area, Criteria, Data_Form, Database, Extract, FilterDatabase, Print_Area, Print_Titles, Recorder, and Sheet_Title.


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