Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Secret to Understanding Names
Using a relative cell reference
Begin by following these steps to create a named formula that uses a relative reference:
1. Start with an empty worksheet.
2. Select cell A1 (this step is very important).
3. Choose Formulas
Defined Names
Define Name.
This brings up the New Name dialog box.
4. Type CellToRight in the Name field.
5. Delete the contents of the Refers To field and type the following formula (don’t point to
the cell in the sheet):
6. Click OK to close the New Name dialog box.
7. Type something (anything) into cell B1.
8. Enter this formula into cell A1:
You’ll find that the formula in A1 simply returns the contents of cell B1.
Next, copy the formula in cell A1 down a few rows. Then enter some values in column B. You’ll
find that the formula in column A returns the contents of the cell to the right. In other words, the
named formula (CellToRight) acts in a relative manner.
You can use the CellToRight name in any cell (not just cells in column A). For example, if you
enter =CellToRight into cell D12, it returns the contents of cell E12.
To demonstrate that the formula named CellToRight truly uses a relative cell reference, activate
any cell other than cell A1 and display the Name Manager dialog box (see Figure 3-21). You’ll see
that the Refers To field contains a formula that points one cell to the right of the active cell, not
A1. For example, if cell B7 is selected when the Name Manager is displayed, the formula for
CellToRight appears as
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