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I am looking for an exhaustive list of valid syntax for a range with in MS-Excel, as examples here are some I know

  • A1 - The First Cell
  • A1:B2 - The four cells A1, A2, B1, and B2
  • A1,B2 - The cells A1 and B2
  • A:A - The first Column
  • A:C - The first 3 columns
  • 1:1 - The first row
  • 1:10 - The first 10 columns
  • $A1 - The first cell with the column being absolute and the row being relative
  • A$1 - The first cell with the column being relative and the row being absolute
  • $A$1 - An absolute reference to the first cell
  • Sheet2!A1 - The first cell on the second sheet.

I would love to see a definitive page documenting the complete valid syntax, as I have found the above through trial and error combined with point and clicking.

One example of things I want to know is if it is possible to define a range with a range to include and a range to exclude, e.g. select all of the second row excluding D2 and D3.

Thank you,

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Excel supports

  1. “classic” cell references in A1 format, 3D format and R1C1 format, where numeric cell references can be substituted by named ranges. Microsoft documents these in the “Overview of formulas” help document on
  2. structured references to tables in Excel 2010 and above. These are documented in the “Using structured references with Excel tables” help document on
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Thanks for the link to the doco - that's exactly what I was after. – David Waters May 4 '12 at 10:50

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