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I wish to copy the reference to a Range in Excel as a String as efficiently as possible. I wish primarily to minimise keystrokes and conditionally not use custom VBA or the mouse.

At the minute, I use the following keystroke sequence to achieve my goal:

Selection of range then Shift+f10 then a then Alt+r then Ctrl+c. This opens up the Define Name dialog and copies the desired string from the Refers To box.

However, this feels remarkably awkward and I suspect that there may be a better way to achieve this operation.

Desired output:

After selecting the range, place =Sheet1!$C$3:$G$11 as a string in the clipboard


I am manually testing software that logs to Excel. I must reference Ranges from the log in a separate worksheet to evidence the outcome of testing as part of logging if the test has passed or failed. Generally I am pasting the string from the clipboard into an Excel cell, which usually involves pressing f2 to edit a cell contents, navigating the cursor to the appropriate position within a pre-existing string and pasting the string from the clipboard.

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closed as not a real question by Mokubai, Dave M, Nifle, Joe Taylor, 8088 Apr 22 '13 at 16:16

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your goal is to "primarily to minimize keystrokes", have you tried recording a macro of this sequence? –  CharlieRB Mar 21 '13 at 16:40
I can do this with a macro. I do this on my own computer. However I have to perform this test/logging on numerous computers where a valid test environment requires that I can't run custom user macros... so I was just wondering if there is a better way to do this –  JustinJDavies Mar 21 '13 at 17:45
Also, my goal is stated as 'primarily...' AND 'conditional...' [so no VBA]' –  JustinJDavies Mar 21 '13 at 17:46
I believe that you have a typo: in Excel 2007 on my system, I need to do an R between the (Shift+F10) and the (Alt+R). Also, here’s an alternative: (Alt+M), M, D, (Alt+R), and then (Ctrl+C). It’s actually one keystroke longer than what you have now, but you might find it easier to type, because your hands don’t have to move so far over the keyboard. –  Scott Mar 21 '13 at 19:30
Yet another way (same number of keystrokes, sadly) is (Ctrl+F3), N, (Alt+R), (Ctrl-C). –  eisb Apr 18 '13 at 21:53
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