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My problem is with documenting Excel "tables".

Suppose for example that E2:F13 is a "table" describing the number of legs a number of 4-legged dogs have (just returned from visiting my son't recovering-from-an-operation dog :). So E2 and F2 are the title columns, with E2 saying "Number Of Dogs" and F2 saying "Number of Legs". Than E3:E13 contains the numbers 1 to 10, and F3 to F13 containing the formulas ="the value in the cell that's in my row one column to my left" * 4. For example, F4 contains "=E4 * 4", F5 contains "=E5 * 4" and so on.

This notation gets full support from Excel, of course, so that when you drag the box down it completes for F10 the the value "=E10 * 4"

However, I am not aware of any "Table semantics. I can give cell names and say that the formula in cell "NumberOfLegsOfFourDogs" is ="the value in the cell named 4Dogs * 4", but I can't figure out how to say that "NumberOfLegsOfDogs[4]" = [4]*4 or something.

So, my question is: Is there a better way use semantic and describe semantic table related information in Excel?

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Your question is not totally clear to me, but you can also define names with formulas containing functions. A search on dynamic range names may help –  datatoo Aug 31 '13 at 18:02
    
As I understand, he wants something in the likes of C/C++, where in arrays you have the name of the object NumberOfLegsOfFourDogs and can reference them through pointer math as NumberOfLegsOfFourDogs[4] = NumberOfDogs[4]*4. But as it is, it seems much more like a hypothetical question rather than a real problem needing to be solved. –  Doktoro Reichard Aug 31 '13 at 18:54
    
@DoktoroReichard Of course it's a real problem. Happy I've found the real solution. Now I wonder whether it was an obvious feature which everyone knew about (except for me, having used Excel here and there since version one, but not studying it in depth) or is it an arcane feature but definitely worth learning IMHO. –  Avi Sep 1 '13 at 13:00
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@Avi Well, from what I could figure out, it seems Microsoft added that feature in Office 2010, so it's a rather new feature (since I've at most used only Office 2007 features I'm not exactly versed in that). Possibly people just used other ways to do the same until this was added. Anyway, congratulations on solving your problem. –  Doktoro Reichard Sep 1 '13 at 15:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Found the solution: It's the Table feature. Just select a range and press control+T and you have a table where you can use column names in formulas. Bliss.

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