What is the Name Box in Excel used for?


There are a number of ways we can use this box but perhaps the most useful is for navigation.

If you are clicked on cell A1 for instance you will see the cell reference A1 showing in the name box which appears under the ribbon as shown in the picture below.  You will also see that there is a drop down arrow but when you click on it there is generally nothing there.

name-box-pic-1

Use the name box to navigate to a particular cell

Click on the name box and type the cell reference and that particular cell reference will become the active cell.  ie type C4 into the name box as in the pic below and see your active cell jump from Al to C4.

name-box-pic-2

Create navigation points in the drop down

If you have a particularly large workbook with many worksheets you may find it easier to find the areas you need to access regularly if you define names for those particular areas so that you can simply click on the drop down of the name box and go straight to the area.  See pic below:

name-box-pic-3

 In order to create the name NZ-Sales in the example above you would go to the cell B13 which represents the New Zealand Sales total and then simply go to the name box and type the name you want to call this cell ie NZ_Sales.

You can also do this for a range of cells by simply selecting the range of cells first and then giving it a name in the name box.

There are many other ways you can work with defining names and labels.  You can find more information in Chapter 9 of the Excel Level 2 course – Defined Names.  For more information of Excel courses please click here.

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