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Range Names are Easier to Remember
Understanding the structure of a worksheet can become intuitive. Columns and rows intersect to provide addresses where you can store labels, values, and formulas. As you learn about the functions and commands available to manipulative this well-ordered environment, you can take this orderliness for granted.
However, those simple column letters and row numbers quickly become confusing when you build even a small worksheet model. Try to describe the worksheet's layout, and almost immediately you're using phrases like "the costs column" and "the rate cell" rather than "range B1..B50" and "cell C2."
If such names simplify your explanation of a worksheet, why not use names to simplify your work in the worksheet? 1-2-3 and Symphony let you do just that. You can assign names to areas of your worksheet so that formulas and menu commands understand when you refer to "the costs column" and "the rate cell."
ASSIGN A NAME
Any worksheet range, whether multi- or single-celled, can have a name. Consider the simple worksheet shown in the following figure:
The worksheet lists various tasks involved in a small construction project. Column A lists the tasks, column B lists the number of hours each task takes, and column C lists the total cost of each task. The next step in building this worksheet might be to enter summary formulas in cells B8 and C8. To do that, you could move the pointer to cell B8 and enter @SUM(B3..B6). Then you could use the Copy command to copy this formula to cell C8. Granted, these steps aren't challenging or time-consuming, but for contrast, try using range names to do the same task.
To follow this discussion, you need 1-2-3 Release 2.01 or 2.2 or Symphony. Start in a blank worksheet. With the pointer in column A, select/Worksheet Column Set-Width (in Symphony, MENU Width Set) and specify 12. Enter the labels and values as shown in the figure. Assign the name hours to range B3..B6: More the pointer to cell B3, select /Range Name Create (in Symphony, MENU Range Name Create), enter hours, and indicate range B3..B6.
Nothing visibly changes in the worksheet. However, from now on you can refer to range B3..B6 as hours. To see a range name in action, move the cell pointer to cell B8 and enter the formula @SUM(hours). The sum of the values in column B appears in cell B8.
Use the Copy command to copy this formula to cell C8. You might think that the copied formula will refer to the range named hours, but it doesn't. To see this for yourself, move the pointer to cell C8 and examine the formula. The copy refers to range C3..C6. The point here is that a named range reference is, by default, relative.
1-2-3 and Symphony remember and display range names for your benefit only. Any commands you issue act on the underlying range address. If you wish to create a formula that always refers to the range named hours, make the reference absolute by preceding it with a dollar sign. For example, move the …