Excel allows you to assign a name to a cell or range of cells. Using names has several advantages. Names, of course, are easier to remember when typing formulas. They make formulas easier to read. And if you want to go to a specific location on a spreadsheet, you can jump to it easily without having to remember the row and column address.

To assign a name, select the cell or cells that you want to give a name. Then click in the Name box and type the name you want to give to the cell(s) that you selected. The name box is located above the first column on your screen and to the left of the formula bar.  If you want to give a name to a group of cells that are not adjacent to each other, remember that you can add cells to your selection by holding down the Ctrl key while highlighting them.

Once you have assigned a name, you can easily use it in a formula.  For example, if you named cells A1 to A10 “Test”, instead of totaling them with the formula =SUM(A1:A10) you could use =SUM(Test).  To make it even easier, instead of typing “Test” into the formula, you can press F3 and choose it from a list.

There are two ways you can use a range name to jump to a location.  If you like to use the keyboard, the F5 key or Ctrl+G brings up the Go To window.  Choose a range name from the list or type on in the Reference box..  If you prefer the mouse, click on the down arrow on the right side of the Name box and select the name from the drop down list.

This is an update of a tip originally published April 2011.