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In this video we'll look at how to create a dynamic named range with a Table. This is the simplest way to create a dynamic named range in Excel.


In this video we'll look at how to create a dynamic named range with a Table. This is the simplest way to create a dynamic named range in Excel.

This table contains data for ten properties. I can easily create a named range for this data. For example, I can create a range called "data." Then, using the ROWS function, I can get a total count of properties.

The problem is that this range is not dynamic. If I copy and paste data for six more properties below the existing data, the range doesn't expand, and any formulas that refer to the range will show incorrect results.

The solution is to create a dynamic named range that expands and contracts as data is added or removed.

The easiest way to create a named range in Excel is to use the Table feature. Just put the cursor anywhere in the data and use the keyboard shortcut Control + T. Excel will ask you to confirm if the table contains a header row. In most cases, the answer will be "yes."

When you click OK, Excel will create the table, apply formatting, and add autofilter controls. Once you have a table, you can adjust the formatting, and toggle the filters on and off.

Excel will automatically give the table a name, but you can change this name if you like.

The new table range will appear in the name box, and in the Name Manager. In the Name Manager, the range will look like a static reference, but it's actually a dynamic range.

Now that I have the table defined, I can use the ROWS function to get a count of all rows. Note that when I select the data, Excel automatically uses the table name.

Tables also provide something called structural references, a special formula syntax that makes it easy to refer to all parts of the table by name.

For example, when I select the Price column as the input for AVERAGE, Excel will use a structured reference to refer to the prices column. The same is true if I use COUNTIF to count sold properties.

Like the table itself, these references are dynamic. If I paste new data at the bottom of the table, you can see that the formulas automatically take that data into account.

In fact, one of the biggest advantages to using a table for a dynamic range is that you automatically have the ability to refer to each column, without creating additional named ranges.

There are several other ways to create dynamic ranges in Excel that we'll look at in other videos. However, a table is a great starting point if it's a good fit for your situation.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.