6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel

6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel

The #NAME? error in Excel is generally because of a typing or syntax error. Excel allows you to use a range of functions in your formula. Even the most experienced users can encounter typos while entering their formula. However, the error might not always be as general as we assume. 

If you’re having difficulties locating the issue behind the #NAME? error, we’ve got your back! In this article, we’ve covered the causes behind the #NAME? error and how you can fix them, so keep reading! 

What is #NAME? Error?

The #NAME? error is a way of Excel alerting users about a potential error in the function of the argument passed. You may be dealing with a typing error in either the function of the argument.

Besides this, your formula may have a syntax error. This includes missing commas, double quotations, and the colon symbol. Following is the list of causes that might’ve caused the #NAME? error in your worksheet:

  • Spelling Error 
  • Syntax Error
  • Undefined Name Range
  • Range Beyond Scope

How to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel?

In the case of #NAME? error, a problem may have several fixes to it. For example, you may have an issue with the syntax, which any element can cause. Although this can sound a bit tricky initially, it gets easier once you go through the solutions. 

Follow the Formula Wizard

The first problem we suspect after getting the #NAME? error is a typing error in the function. Excel will not recognize the command you’re asking to execute when you incorrectly type a function.

To fix your typo, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell with the #NAME? error. 
    6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
  2. On the formula bar, inspect the formula used.
  3. If you see an error, rectify it and hit enter again.

If this is a problem you frequently encounter, you can follow the Formula Wizard. You might’ve noticed that when you begin to type a formula, Excel will present you with a list of suggestions. Follow the wizard to type the function correctly.

Use Insert Function

If you’re new to using functions in Excel, take help from the Insert Function tool while entering formulas to avoid typos. You can either type the function or search functions by category. You will receive suggestions based on what you’ve searched, which you can insert on your cell.

Follow these steps to use the Insert Function tool to enter a function in Excel:

  1. Open your Excel workbook. 
  2. Hop on to the Formulas tab from the menu bar.
  3. From the Function Library section, select Insert Function.
    6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
  4. In the Insert Function window, enter:
    • Search for a function: If you know the function you wish to add, type in its name in this section. After you’ve entered a function, click Go.
      6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
    • Or select a category: If you know what command you want to execute but do not know which function to use, drop the menu next to it and select an option.
      6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
    • Select a function: Excel will present suggestions based on your search in this section.
  5. Click OK.
  6. On the new window, enter the text or cell location in the section next to Text.
  7. Select OK.

Fix Syntax Error

You may have used an operator or a syntax in the formula. The syntax is important as it structures your command for Excel to execute it. When you enter a different syntax, Excel fails to understand your command and therefore alerts you with the #NAME? error. 

You must’ve either forgotten to add the comma, double quote, colon, and parentheses symbol incorrectly. The placement of these symbols is very important while structuring your syntax. 

Here is what the syntaxes mean in a formula:

  • Equals sign = activates the function
  • Parentheses () groups arguments
  • Colon : specifies a range
  • Comma , separates arguments
  • Double Quote “” adds text to the formula

Here is how you can use each of these symbols correctly.

6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel

Use Name Manager

You cannot pass a name in a formula without defining its value. This is because the name holds no value on its own and cannot be used for calculation. Excel returns the error if you put an undefined name in a formula.

You can easily define a name using the Name Manager tool in Excel. You can specify your name’s scope and source using the Name Manager. If you like, you can also add a comment for the name.

Here are the steps you can refer to use Name Manager to define a name:

  1. Launch MS Excel to open your workbook. 
  2. Head to the Formulas tab from the menu bar. 
  3. Select the Name Manager option from the Defined Names section.
    6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
  4. Click on New on the top-left corner of the window.
    6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
  5. In the New Name window, enter:
    • Name: Enter the name you want to define.
    • Scope: Specify where you want the defined name to work on.
    • Comment: This is an optional feature. If you have any side notes, you can mention them here.
    • Refers to: From the workbook, select the cell with the value you want to define the name with.
      6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel

Correct the Defined Name

Sometimes, we get so invested in correcting the function and syntax that we skip through the defined name. If you spell the defined error incorrectly, Excel cannot locate and extract the value you wish from the worksheet. This then displayed the #NAME? Error.

Select the cell with the error to view the formula in the formula bar. Look for any spelling errors in the defined name and rectify them accordingly.

6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel

Change Scope

Even if you’ve correctly used the defined name, the value you’ve specified for the scope must match the location of the referred cell. If your scope is within the Sheet, but the cell you’ve referred to the name falls outside the workbook, Excel cannot locate the cell. 

You cannot make edits on Scope for a named ranged. To fix this issue, you must delete the range and create a new one with proper scope. If you use this range in all sheets, select the Workbook option under Scope. 

Follow these steps to delete a range from the Name Manager:

  1. Open your spreadsheet.
  2. Hop into the Formulas tab from the menu bar.
  3. Select Name Manager from the Defined names section.
  4. Locate and select your defined name from the list, then select Delete on the top-right corner of the window.
    6 Ways to Fix #NAME? Error in Excel
  5.  Confirm your action by clicking yes on the dialog box.

You can refer to the steps mentioned in the fix above to define a new name in Excel.

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