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I'd like to know if it is possible to select a cell by the header / row name? I know I can select the number of working days using B2, but is there something more elegant like Days[Work] ?

    A        B        C
1   Class    Days
2   Work     220
3   Sick     5
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For interest, see the wiki article on Lotus Improv, which was an attempt to base spreadsheet entry on this paradigm. Unfortunately, it didn't take off. – Lord Peter Nov 22 '12 at 12:32
@DaveRook no I know about named cells, but realistically I am working with tables, would be easier / cleaner. – M Afifi Nov 22 '12 at 12:42

You can name a cell or a range.

  1. Select a single cell or highlight a range of cells

  2. Click into the box directly left of the formula bar which normally has the cell address (like A1). This box is called the “Name Box.”

  3. Pick a name, type it in, then hit Enter (aka return) (Note: The name you select has to start with a letter or an underscore and no spaces are allowed)

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You can select that cell by almost exactly that method, with a tiny bit of setup on your worksheet.

For Excel 2007 - 2010: you can convert the data into a Table. Select the range and from the Home tab choose Format as Table. Pick a style (you can change or remove this formatting later), verify the selected data and choose "My table has headers".

How you then reference that data point depends on how complex your table is. In an empty cell try typing = then clicking the cell you want to refer to. You will get a formula like


For older versions of Excel (and new ones too!): you can define range names for this data. This is as simple as selecting a range and typing in the name box which is found to the left of the formula bar. A more efficient way is to select the range and go to Formulas > Create from selection (shortcut CTRL SHIFT F3). This will create a whole stack of range names for you to play with. These can be browsed from the Name Manager dialogue. Usage could then be something like

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