XL2000: #NAME? Error Message After Linking or Updating Data

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Article ID: 211851 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you use a natural language formula to reference cells, you receive a #NAME? error message.


This problem occurs when the data the formula refers to is returned from either of the following:
  • a link

  • an external database
This error also occurs if natural language formulas have not been enabled. By default, natural language formulas are disabled in Excel 2000.


If a formula that uses a natural language reference returns a #NAME? error message after you update data from an external database, do the following to recalculate the formula:
  1. Click the cell that contains the #NAME? error message.
  2. Press F2, and then press ENTER.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.


When you use natural language formulas, it is not necessary to create defined names or determine the cell ranges in advance. Microsoft Excel 2000 determines the range based on the row and column labels that you provide in the table on your worksheet.

You can link data to a Microsoft Excel workbook in the following ways:
  • Use a dynamic data exchange (DDE) link from a different program, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Create a link from one workbook to another.
  • Create a linked reference from one cell to another within the same workbook.
In Microsoft Excel, you can access data from an external database in the following ways:
  • Use the Microsoft Query add-in to return data to a worksheet.
  • Create a PivotTable that uses external data.
  • Use the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) add-in in a macro.


To set up an example that demonstrates the problem, type the following data in a worksheet:
   A1:              B1: Quarter1  C1: Quarter2
   A2: North        B2: 100       C2: 120
   A3: West         B3: 110       C3: 130
   A4: East         B4: 120       C4: 140
   A5: South        B6: 130       C5: 150
In this example, the following formula returns the value 240 for the sum of quarters 1 and 2 for the West region:
= Sum(West)
However, if your data is linked or from an external data source and you update the data, the formula returns the #NAME? error message.


For more information about labels and names in formulas, click Microsoft Help on the Help menu, type name cells in a workbook in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For additional information about natural language formulas, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
279412 XL2000: How to Use Natural Language Formulas
For additional information about how to enable natural language formulas, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
222170 XL2000: Natural Language Formulas Produce #NAME? Errors


Article ID: 211851 - Last Review: October 8, 2003 - Revision: 3.1
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
kbbug kbpending KB211851

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