Named Ranges in Excel can contain letters, numbers, and some special characters. Ozgrid has a good list of guidelines for named ranges.
- The first character of a name must be a letter or an underscore character. Remaining characters in the name can be letters, numbers, periods, and underscore characters.
- Names cannot be the same as a cell reference, such as Z$100 or R1C1.
- Spaces are not allowed. Underscore characters and periods may be used as word separators ¾ for example, First. Quarter or Sales_Tax.
- A name can contain up to 255 characters.
- Names can contain uppercase and lowercase letters. Microsoft Excel does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase characters in names. For example, if you have created the name Sales and then create another name called SALES in the same workbook, the second name will replace the first one.
It seems to be the second one that gets people a lot. If you try to create a range name like A1, you get a “That name is not valid” error.
Periods are OK, though.
When I tried to name a range that would contain the first standard of the 50th copper sample, I got an error. The name I wanted was
Excel treats a period like a colon when you’re referencing ranges. If you type
=SUM(b1.b12), it’s the same as
When I tried to enter
cu50.s1, Excel evaluated that to
S1:CU50, a valid range reference and therefore an invalid range name. Excel 2007 has even more invalid range names because it has so many more columns than previous versions. I settled on