Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
the cell references are inserted into the formula. In this instance, selecting the cells from C3 to
C24 would result in the formula =SUM(C3:C24) . And, as of Excel 2002, you are able to select
discontiguous groups of cells by holding down the Ctrl key. For example, typing =SUM()
into a cell, positioning the insertion point between the parentheses, selecting cells C3 to C24,
and then holding down the Ctrl key while you select cell C26, would result in the formula
=SUM(C3:C24,C26) .
Important When creating a formula, pressing the Enter key before you complete the for­
mula will result in an error. You need to type =SUM( and then select the cells you want to
include, before you type the closing parenthesis.
When you work with a lot of worksheets and formulas, or if you need to pass a workbook you
created to a colleague, just using cell references to designate the values used in a formula can
lead to a lot of confusion. Rather than stay with the simple but somewhat cryptic cell ref­
erences, you can create named ranges (often just called names ) to make your formulas eas­
ier to read. For example, if you had a worksheet with sales for several different product
categories, you could create a named range for each category and create a formula such as
=SUM(MachineTools,Software,Consulting) instead of =SUM(C3:C24,D3:D24,E3:E24) .
The quickest way to create a named range is to select the cells you want in the range, click in
the Name box at the left edge of the formula bar, and type the name for the range. (The Name
box is the area in the formula bar that displays the address of the currently selected cell.)
If you want to work with existing ranges, you can click Insert, Name, Define to display the
Define Name dialog box, shown in Figure 2-3. From there, you can add or delete ranges.
Figure 2-3. Use the Define Name dialog box to manage your named ranges.
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