Imagine a friend tell you his address this way: 25°47’N, 80°11’O instead of 1633 North Bayshore Drive, Miami.

The same applies to naming formulas, **using the A1/R1C1 reference style is like using a coordinate instead of an address. **For example: =A2*B2 vs. =area*height.

That’s not all, you have more reasons to use Excel Names in your Excel Formulas, take a look at these ones…

**1) Write Formulas Easier and Faster**

- Focus on the logic of the formula instead of selecting cells/ranges. Insert a cell/range with Paste Name Command (F3) or with Formula Autocomplete (Excel 2007)
- Select cells/ranges just once. This is the case when you have the same range more than one time in a formula. For example: =SUMPRODUCT((A2:A22>I9)*(A2:A22<I10)+(A2:A22))
- Write arguments directly from your mind. Named Ranges are stored more easily in your memory because they are meaningful (base, interest_rate, amount, etc)

You spend less time picking and configuring arguments:

**2) Move/Copy/Paste Formulas Easier**

You are not worried about setting the correct reference: $A$1, A$1 or $A1.

Once you define Excel Names properly you just copy and paste the formula.

Important notice

A Range named in form of array is difficult to analyze because you don’t know which number from the array is used for the calculation.

**3) Read and Maintain Formulas more Efficiently**

- You can depict the formula meaning more easily in your mind, for example: the formula =base*height/2 is more meaningful than =A2*A3/2
- Names act as both reference and description; compare “A2” with “base” in the example above. Excel does not provide a method to add descriptions to formulas. Here’s an example:

The following formula calculates the Compound Interest Rate:

=B2*((1+B4)^B3)

Where:

B2 = amount

B3 = number of years

B4= Interest Rate

Well, now see this formula: =amount*((1+numberyears)^interestrate) **it explains itself.**

Memorizing a list of long/complicated names that make no sense is difficult. In this sense, **Excel Names are a kind of mnemonics**.

Named Ranges will help you with interpreting formulas in better ways. Let’s see…

**4) Write Shorter Formulas that Contain External Links**

- Define the name, for this example: labcost
- Set the range “Refers to” as =’ [Labor costs.xls]Rocks I and II’!$H$13
- You are done

You can turn this formula:=’ [Labor costs.xls]Rocks I and II’!$H$13 into this shorter version: =labcost

How do you do it? Create a named range.