Make the best use of Name Box in Excel

Many of us make use of Microsoft Excel to calculate budget or to do some additions and subtractions. We also know that it supports Macros which helps us to automate our tasks. An Excel sheet is no stranger to us and it does not require any introduction. But, how many of you know that, there is a box called Name Box in Excel sheet that we use daily?

Yes, I am talking about the box which is at the top left and under the ribbon. What we generally think is, it is just the normal box which gives reference to the active cell. But there is a lot to know about this and we need know the use of Excel Name Box.

Name Box in Excel

Name Box in Excel

Uses of Name Box in Excel

I will take you through some tips and tricks which can be implemented by this Excel Name Box.

Quickly go to the specific cell

If you want to go to a specific cell, then you can type the address of that cell in this Name Box. For example, if you want to go to D10, then type D10 in to the Name Box and that particular cell gets active.

Excel Name Box_Move to specific cell

Select and Move to a specific range of cells

If you want to select and move to a specific range of cells, then you can use Excel Name Box. For example, if you want to select a range from C8 to E13, then you can type C8:E13 in the Name Box and hit Enter. Even, if you are at other location say Q10, you will bring back to the selected range as specified in the Excel Name Box.

Excel Name Box_Select Particular Range of Cells

Select a particular range from an active cell

If active cell is B6 and you type C10 in the Name Box, press and hold the Shift key of the keyboard and hit enter. You can see that range B6:C10 will be selected. Try by pressing and holding the Ctrl key and you see that, only cells B6 and C10 will be selected and not the range. Identify the difference between them.

Excel Name Box_Select a particular range from an active cell

Select Multiple Particular Cells

Type B4,E7,G8 in the Name Box and hit enter. You see that, all the three calls are selected. You can try with A10,B17,E5 and let us know. Note that the commas are used without any space.

Excel Name Box_Select multiple particular cells

Select Multiple Particular Ranges

Type B4:C7,E4:G7 in the Name Box and hit enter. You see that two specific ranges B4 through C7 and E4 through G7 got selected. Identify the colon and comma regarding the placement.

Excel Name Box_Select multiple particular ranges

To select entire Column(s)

Type B:B in the Name Box and hit enter to see that entire column B has been selected. Try typing B:E and you see that all columns from B to E will be selected completely.

Excel Name Box_Select entire column

To select entire Rows(s)

Type 3:3 in the Name Box and you see that row 3 as selected. Type 3:6 and you see that, rows 3 through 6 are selected. Remember that alphabets are to mentions columns and numbers are to mention rows.

Excel Name Box_Select entire rows

Select multiple particular complete rows

Previous we saw (in point 5) tip to select multiple particular range cells. In the same way, we can select multiple particular rows using Name Box. Type 2:6,10:14 and hit enter.  You see that rows 2 through 6 and rows 10 through 14 are selected.

Excel Name Box_Select multiple particular complete rows

Together select multiple particular entire row(s) and column(s)

Type G:G,7:7 in the Name Box and hit enter. You see that entire column H and entire row 7 has been selected. In the same way, type C:E,6:8 and hit enter. You see that, columns C through E and rows 6 through 8 get selected together.

Excel Name Box_Together select multiple particular entire rows and columns

Select intersection region of specific row(s) and column(s)

This gives the same output as tip #2, but this time it identifies the region based on the intersection of rows and columns which you mention in the Name Box. For example, we use the same values as mentioned in tip #2. Type C:E 8:13 in the Name Box and hit enter. You see that C8 to E13 will be selected. Identify the space between E and 8.

Excel Name Box_Select intersection region of specific rows and columns

Here, the intersected area can be found by taking the first column in the mentioned range ‘C’ and first row in the mentioned range ‘8’, you get the first cell ‘C8’ of the intersection area. You can find the other cell value of the intersection area.

Tip to select entire worksheet

Type A:XFD in the Name Box and hit enter to see that entire worksheet will be selected.

Excel Name Box_select entire worksheet

Add another selected region to already selected region

Select some region, say A2:D4 in the worksheet and now type E8:H12 in the Name Box. Now, press and hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard and hit enter. You see that two ranges got selected A2 through D4 and E8 through H12. Try with Shift and see the fun!

Excel Name Box_Add another selected region to already selected regionExcel Name Box_Add another selected region to already selected region

Select entire column and row of an active cell

Select any cell on the worksheet and type ‘C’ in the Name Box and hit enter. You see that entire column of that active cell get selected. If you want to select the entire row of the active cell, then type ‘R’ in the Name Box and hit enter. This is one of the best way to say the use of Name Box in Excel, isn’t it?

Excel Name Box_Select entire column and row of an active cell

Get back to the active cell by collapsing the selected range

Select a range on the worksheet and type ‘RC’ in the Name Box. Hit enter and you see that you get back to the active cell and the selection has been collapsed.

Excel Name Box_Get back to the active cell by collapsing the selected range

Assign a name to the selected range

This tip shows you the use of Name Box in Excel. You can give a specific name to the selected range. Select a range on the worksheet and give the name in the Name Box and hit enter. You can use this name in the place of selected range in any formulas. This makes our task easier in such case.

Excel Name Box_assign a name to the selected range

Later on, if you want to select the same range, you can just select the name from the Name Box. Remember that name should not have any spaces in it.

These are some of the tips and tricks to make best use of Name Box in Excel. I hope every tip will be useful to some or the other to make your task simpler. Try few more with help of these examples and let us know. If you want to add anything to this, please do share with us through comments.

Now see how to Hide Formula in Excel.

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Sridhar is a Software Engineer who loves to stay updated with developments in the world of technology. He is fond of writing everything related to Internet, Computers and Mobile and Desktop Operating Systems.