 Tweet # Excel For Noobs Tutorial: How to Name Formulas in Excel 2013 Tutorial

In Excel you can also define the name of a formula. The formula doesnt even need to be inserted into a cell. So you can gain a better understanding I am going use an example.

Suppose we have a worksheet that needs to calculate the semi-annual percentage rate. Instead of manually entering the semi-annual interest rate formula every time we need it. We could instead give a name to the formula. We could then refer to the formula name whenever we need the semi-annual interest rate. Below is a screen shot of a few cells where I have entered some constants. I have entered the annual percentage rate, the loan principle and the years to maturity. Now we are going to create and name a formula that will calculate the semi-annual interest rate. Follow the steps below

Step 1: Select any cell within the worksheet.

Step 2: Right-click and from the shortcut menu click on Define Name and the New Names dialog box will appear.

Step 3: In the Name box enter the name you want to give to your formula. In our case it is going to be Semi_Annual_Rate.

NOTE: Names must begin with a number or an underscore, cannot contain spaces or illegal characters and must not coflict with other names.

Step 4: In the Refers to: box we are going to enter our formula. We first insert the equals sign (=), then point our mouse at cell B1 (our annual interest rate) and then type /2. Our formula should read =Sheet1!\$B\$1/2. When referring to cells in the New Name dialog box Excel always uses absolute cell reference. Step 5: Now we will click OK and any time we need to insert the semi-annual interest rate will can simple insert the name Semi_Annual_Rate instead of manually entering the formula. In the screen shot below you can see that we are entering a calculation that refers to names instead of formulas. The formula solves the semi-annual payment by multiplying the principle by the semi-annual interest rate. The name Principle refers to cell B2 and the name Semi_Annual_Rate refers to the formula we named. Find the next tutorial in the links below. 