Apply named range to existing formulas


Board Regular
May 25, 2005
Hello All,

I thought what i am trying to do would be simple however this has left me surprised and frustrated, hence i am hoping someone else has experienced this issue before and can assist.

I am trying to apply named ranges to existing formulas.

Basically, the spreadsheet i inherited was poorly planned and did not use names. I am therefore defining a number of names and then want to update the existing formulas across the workbook with them - to make formulas easier to audit.

Supposedly this should be a simple process by going to "Define Names" and then "Apply names" (in excel 2007). However, whenever i do this, i get the error "Microsoft office excel cannot find any references to replace".

For example:
On the assumptions sheet (called "2B. Key Assumptions") i have defined a cell c296 as "lease_switch". This is defined with workbook scope (not worksheet).

On another worksheet ("Financing") there a number of cells with a long formula such as:

=IF('2B. Key assumptions'!$C$296=1,IF('2B. Key assumptions'!$C$297='10. Financing'!HO8,('10. Financing'!HO12/SUM('10. Financing'!HO80,'10. Financing'!HO12))*'2B. Key assumptions'!$C$298,0),0)

I would like to be able to replace the formula so it will become (IF(lease_switch=1... etc)

I would have expected this to have been a fairly simple process. Browsing google results it seems people have had this error before, but i can't seem to find a clear answer to it.

I know i could use the find and replace function, but then i need to be very careful about which formulas are replaced (ie in my example, replacing '2B. Key assumptions'!$C$296 would also replace a reference to '2B. Key assumptions'!$C$2960 which would stuff a few things up.

Many thanks for any assistance provided.



Board Regular
Apr 13, 2007

I think your "Define Names" and then "Apply names" is correct, but only works on a sheet by sheet basis. The error "Microsoft office excel cannot find any references to replace" is correct if you are applying the change from the sheet with the reference cell in it, and no other references are made to it in that worksheet. It should not apply from the "2B. Key assumptions" sheet where the references exist.


Board Regular
May 25, 2005
Hi roentgen - thansk for your reply. unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case - it doesn't work at all - no matter which worksheet is selected at the time....

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