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Named Ranges – VBA properties & actions

VBA Code Snippets

Named Ranges are a very useful feature of Excel, but a lot of users do not know why or how to use them.  This post is not about how to use Named Ranges, but specifically how to create, delete and manage Named Ranges automatically with VBA.

Create Named Ranges

Named Ranges can be created at the Worksheet or the Workbook level.

'Create Named Range - at the workbook level Method 1
 ThisWorkbook.Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("$A$1:$B$5").Name = "Range1"

 'Create Named Range - at the workbook level Method 2
 ThisWorkbook.Names.Add Name:="Range1", RefersTo:="=Sheet1!$C$1:$D$5"

 'Create Named Range - at the worksheet level Method 1
 ThisWorkbook.Worksheets("Sheet1").Names.Add Name:="Range1", RefersTo:="=Sheet1!$C$1:$D$5"

Delete Named Ranges

'Delete Named Range

Change visibility of Named Ranges

'Hide Named Ranges from the Name Manager
Names("Range1").Visible = False

 'Make the Named Range visible in the Name Manager
 Names("Range1").Visible = True

Looping through each Named Range

'Loop through each Named Range
 Dim NamedRange As Name
 For Each NamedRange In ActiveWorkbook.Names
     MsgBox NamedRange.Name & " : " & NamedRange.RefersTo

Create Named Ranges automatically from ranges

It is possible to automatically create a named range based on the cells to the left, top, right or bottom of another cell.  In this example below cells A1 – C1 will become the names for the Ranges A2-A10, B2-B10 and C2-C10.

'Create Named Ranges automatically from ranges
ActiveSheet.Range("A1:C10").CreateNames Top:=True

'Create Named Ranges automatically from the selection
Selection.CreateNames Top:=True

Depending on the location of the names we can use the following settings:


The “Print_Area”

If we set a print area using the standard Excel Ribbon: Page Layout -> Print Area -> Set Print Area this will automatically create a named range called “Print_Area”.  This is a reserved name which is purely for the print area.  Therefore, we can control the Print_Area like any other named range, we just have to use the correct name.  But we need to be aware that the Print_Area is a worksheet level item, as each worksheet can have it’s own print area.

'Create a Print_Area - Method 1
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets("Sheet1").Names.Add Name:="Print_Area", RefersTo:="=Sheet1!$C$1:$D$5"

'Create a Print_Area - Method 2
ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = "$C$1:$D$5"

'Clear the Print_Area
ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PrintArea = ""

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About the author

Hey, I’m Mark, and I run Excel Off The Grid.

My parents tell me that at the age of 7 I declared I was going to become a qualified accountant. I was either psychic or had no imagination, as that is exactly what happened. However, it wasn't until I was 35 that my journey really began.

In 2015, I started a new job, for which I was regularly working after 10pm. As a result, I rarely saw my children during the week. So, I started searching for the secrets to automating Excel. I discovered that by building a small number of simple tools, I could combine them together in different ways to automate nearly all my regular tasks. This meant I could work less hours (and I got pay raises!). Today, I teach these techniques to other professionals in our training program so they too can spend less time at work (and more time with their children and doing the things they love).

Do you need help adapting this post to your needs?

I'm guessing the examples in this post don't exactly match your situation. We all use Excel differently, so it's impossible to write a post that will meet everybody's needs. By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site), you should be able to adapt it to your needs.

But, if you're still struggling you should:

  1. Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic. You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
  2. Ask the 'Excel Ninja' in your office. It's amazing what things other people know.
  3. Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community. Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free. So take care to craft your question, make sure it's clear and concise.  List all the things you've tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
  4. Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner. They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.

What next?
Don't go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid.  Check out the latest posts:

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