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How to rename columns or rows in Google Sheets

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If you're creating a Google Sheets spreadsheet for others to use, you can make it easier to reference certain sections of data by renaming columns or rows using named ranges. Here's how.

What are named ranges?

Named ranges allow you to add a custom name to a group of cells, from entire columns or rows to smaller groups of cells. Creating a named range doesn't overwrite the original cell references (A1, A2, etc.), but makes it easier to reference those cells (and the data they contain) when you add new formulas.

Using the name box

The fastest way to add a named range to Google Sheets is to use the name box. This is the area, to the left of the formula bar, that shows you the reference of the currently selected cell or cells in your worksheet.

To get started, open your Google Sheets spreadsheet and select a new column or row. With the row or column selected, replace the existing cell reference in the name box with a new name, and then press the Enter key to save your choice.

To quickly rename a column or row, select the row or column and then replace the cell reference in the name box with your own name before pressing the Enter key to save.

Google Sheets will immediately apply the new name to your column or row. You can view a list of existing named ranges by pressing the down arrow button to the right of the name box.

A list of named ranges, including their original cell references, will appear in the list below.

To view a list of named ranges, press the down arrow button next to the name box.

You can click on any of the named ranges to select those cells or press “Manage Named Ranges” to make changes to the existing named ranges.

Using the Named Ranges menu

Another way to rename columns or rows is to use the named ranges menu. This menu allows you to manage existing named ranges as well as to create new ones.

Adding a new named range in Google Sheets

To get started, open Google Sheets and select the row or column you want to rename. With the column or row selected, right click on the selected cells and select "Define Named Range" from the context menu.

To apply a new named range to a selected row or column, right click on the selected cells and then press the “Set Named Range” option.

The “Named Ranges” menu will open as a panel on the right. Type the name you chose in the box provided. You can also change the selected column, row, or smaller cell range by changing the cell reference below.

Press "Done" to save your choice.

In the “Named Range” menu, add a new name for your range in the box provided and edit the range of cells it refers to (if necessary), then press “Done” to save your choice.

Edit or delete named ranges

To edit or delete a named range, right-click any cell on the worksheet and select "Define Named Range" from the menu. You will see a list of existing named ranges in a sidebar on the right side of the window. Hover over the name in the "Named Ranges" panel and press the "Edit" button.

To edit a saved named range, hover over the name (or select it) in the “Named Ranges” menu, then press the “Edit” button.

You can then make changes to the named range (including changing the name and the range of cells it refers to) using the boxes provided. If you want to delete the named range, press the "Delete" button.

To delete a named range, press the "Edit" button, then press the "Delete" button.

You will need to confirm your choice - press 'Delete' in the dialog box to confirm.

To confirm the deletion of a saved name range, press the "Delete" button on the context menu.

Using a named range in Google Sheets

With the new named range added, you can now refer to it elsewhere in a new formula. For example, if you named your range "CellData", you can find the median of the values ​​in those cells by using the following formula:

= MEDIAN (CellData)

The named range (CellData) replaces the original cell reference to the column, row, or range of cells in your formula. For example, if CellData is a named range for all cells in column A, you can use A: A or CellData to refer to those cells.

Example of a MEDIAN formula using a named range.

Using a named range allows you to quickly refer to the data you want to use without needing the original cell reference. It's just one more way to use the power of Google Sheets to make it easier for you while you work.

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