If you use the same values and formulas frequently, you can bypass some of the data entry chores by assigning a range to the value or formula. Then, when you need that value or formula, use the range instead. In addition, the range performs as a constant, making updating much easier.
For instance, suppose a company name you enter frequently is long. Instead of entering the entire name every time you need it, enter it once in an out-of-the-way spot, assign a name to the cell, and then use that range name to display the company name. Doing so is efficient, and you don't have to worry about errors. Let's work through a quick example.
- In cell A1, enter North American Financial Institutions Center for Advanced Studies and Research.
- With cell A1 selected, choose Name from the Insert menu and then select Define.
- In the Define Name dialog box, enter a short name, such as Co, for the range.
- Click OK.
- Select any cell other than A1 and enter =Co; Excel will copy the text in cell A1.
To change the company's name throughout the worksheet, just update the value in cell A1. (Actually, doing so updates only =Co instances.) Use this technique to eliminate data entry and errors when entering frequently used values and formulas.
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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.