Excel/row based data


Hi, thanks for answering questions on Excel. My question is this - my data is row-based. That is, each row contains different bits of data on a single person. Imagine an HR database. Each column contains the same type of data. e.g., column A contains name, column B date of hire, etc. I wonder if there is a way to name a column of data, and then use that in a formula. e.g., column B is date of hire, and I've got 100 employees. So, a formula could calculate days since hired (today()-B2). However, I would like to name the column, to make it easier to read the formulas - e.g., DOH2, DOH3, DOH4, etc. So, once I create a formula, I can then copy it to the rest of the cells in the column. Hope that makes sense, thanks!

Hello Bruce,

Thank you for your question.

What you are trying to accomplish can be done with Named Ranges.  Here's how:

Define and use names in formulas

By using names, you can make your formulas much easier to understand and maintain. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table. Once you adopt the practice of using names in your workbook, you can easily update, audit, and manage these names.

A name is a meaningful shorthand that makes it easier to understand the purpose of a cell reference, constant, formula, or table, each of which may be difficult to comprehend at first glance. The following information shows common examples of names and how they can improve clarity and understanding.

Normal formula

Formula with Named Ranges

I hope this helps you with what you are trying to do. If not, please message back and I will do my best to assist.

Kind regards,

Mary Lindsey
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Mary A. Lindsey


I can answer Microsoft Excel 2000-2007 questions regarding formatting, styles, shortcut keys, templates, forms, etc, but will not answer any macro questions.


I have over 15 years experience working in corporate America as legal and financial document support specialist. I have designed a template that converts html and Excel files to inserts these numerical data into Word documents so that there will be no document corruption because of file size and graphics that comes as part of HTML and Excel.


I am a Microsoft Office Master Instructor (MOS), Certiport Administrator and Proctor (97-2003)

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