January 11, 2002, Newsletter Issue #67: Microsoft Excel Shortcuts

Tip of the Week

Regular readers may remember how highly I rate the range names feature in Excel, but for those of you who are new to the subject or who need a refresher, here`s why:

1) Range names allow you to give a cell or range of cells a name which makes sense to you and anyone else who uses your spreadsheets. It is much easier to relate to a formula which says =sales*discount than one which says =b2*$j$1.

2) The opportunity for error in formulas is drastically reduced. When you select or type any cell range, it is easy to make a mistake and Excel won`t let you know (although Excel 2002 tries its best). If you mistype a range name, you get a NAME error so you know there is a problem.

3) When you need to update a range of cells in a formula, you have quite a challenge ahead of you. First you have to realise that something requires updating, then you need to identify everywhere you`ve referred to that range of cells, then you have to modify each one correctly. If you`re using range names, then you just need to update the range of cells which the range name refers to.

This week`s tip is all about a single key and how useful it is when you`re working with range names...

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