Use a Structured Prefix to Identify Range Name Types

Excel

Range names are great! Did I say that before? They can make formulas much more understandable. And they can make your work tremendously faster and reduce errors. They’re almost too good to be true, at least when you are in a complex spreadsheet. I have one Return on Investment calculator that probably has two hundred range names. All the names use a prefix and naming convention so the formulas are easy to understand and the appropriate cell is easy to find.

One way to make range names easier to understand is to use a prefix for range names that lets you know what type they are. Another good reason for doing this is that when you display all your range names in the Name Manager dialog box they will be grouped by the type of name, which makes names easier to find.

Name Manager showing names with prefixes.Notice that the columns in the Name Manager can be widened for easy reading.

Name Manager showing names with prefixes.Notice that the columns in the Name Manager can be widened for easy reading.

A few prefixes you might want to use for range names are,

Name Type Prefix Example
Cell or range reference rng rngDataEntry
Database db dbAdCosts
Chart data chrt chrtSales
Form control selection slct slctRegions
(result from drop-down, scroll list, etc.)
Table tbl tblCosts
Menu items mnu mnuRegions
(contains menu items for drop-down)
Values val valRegionName, valStartYear
(contains text or numbers)

Related content are,

Quickly Create Range Names

Use Only Allowed Characters in Range Names

Create Range Names with Upper and Lower Case, but Type them in Lower Case as a Cross-Check

Use a Major and Minor Naming Convention when Naming Ranges

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