Save Excel Formulas Without Using Macros

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

I often repeat formulas in worksheets. I know I can save them as macros and then insert them anytime with a few clicks, but I really don’t like macros. Is there an easy alternative?

There is, but I urge you to rethink your aversion to using macros. They actually are very easy to create and use. But here’s the alternative:

Select the cell with the formula you want to save and press F2 to put Excel in the edit mode, allowing you to edit contents of the highlighted cell. Depress the Shift key, and using either the mouse or the arrow keys, select the entire formula. Now press Ctrl+C to copy the formula, placing it in the Clipboard . Press Esc to exit from the edit mode.

Click on Insert , Name and choose Define , displaying the Define Name dialog box. Under Names in workbook , assign a name for the formula (it must be a name without spaces, such as add1 ).

Select whatever is in the Refers to box at the bottom of the dialog box and press Ctrl+V to replace that reference with the formula in the Clipboard .

Be sure to remove any absolute references ( $ ) in the formula because this method will not work well with them. Click on OK .

Now whenever you want to use the formula, all you need to do is enter an equal sign and the name you gave the formula. Although only the name will show in the cell, the formula will be used in any calculation.

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