Use a screen reader to name a cell or data range in Excel

Decorative icon. Screen reader content

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Microsoft Support home.

Use Excel with your keyboard and a screen reader to name cells and data ranges in a worksheet. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You can use the name in a formula and make your formula much easier to understand and maintain. 

Notes: 

Name a cell or a data range

  1. Select the cell or range of cells that you want to name.

  2. Press Alt+M, M, D. With Narrator and NVDA, you hear: "New name window." With JAWS, you hear: "Name, colon, edit." The focus is on the Name: field.

  3. Type the cell or data range name.

    Note: The name needs to start with a letter or underscore and cannot contain spaces.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "OK, button," and then press Enter. The focus returns to the spreadsheet.

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

Use Excel for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to name cells and data ranges in a worksheet. You can then use that name in a formula and make your formula much easier to understand and maintain.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

Name a cell or a data range

  1. In the Excel spreadsheet, select the cell or range of cells that you want to name.

  2. Press F6 until you hear the name of the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab," and then press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear: "Formulas, tab." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Formulas tab.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Define name, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The Define Name dialog box opens, and you hear: "Names in workbook, table."

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Enter a name for the data range, edit text," and then type the cell or data range name.

    Note: The name needs to start with a letter or underscore and cannot contain spaces.

  5. After typing the name, press Return. The Define Name dialog box closes and the focus returns to the spreadsheet.

    Note: To read the name of the cell or data range, after selecting the cell or data range, press F6 until you hear the name of the cell or data range, followed by "Contents selected, edit text."

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×