Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Using Named Constants
Using Named Constants
This tip describes a useful technique that can remove some clutter from your worksheets: named
constants.
Consider a worksheet that generates an invoice and calculates sales tax for a sales amount. The
common approach is to insert the sales tax rate value into a cell and then use this cell reference
in your formulas. To make things easier, you probably would name this cell something like
SalesTax.
You can store your sales tax rate by using a name (and avoid using a cell). Figure 88-1
demonstrates the following steps:
1. Choose Formulas
Defined Names
Define Name to open the New Name dialog box.
2. Enter the name (in this case, SalesTax) into the Name field.
3. Click the Refers To field, delete its contents, and replace it with a simple formula, such
as =7.5% .
4. Click OK to close the dialog box.
Figure 88-1: Defining a name that refers to a constant.
The preceding steps create a named formula that doesn’t use any cell references. To try it out,
enter the following formula into any cell:
=SalesTax
This simple formula returns .075, the result of the formula named SalesTax. Because this named
formula always returns the same result, you can think of it as a named constant. And, you can use
this constant in a more complex formula, such as this one:
=A1*SalesTax
 
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