Method to Delete Corrupt Defined Names in Excel

Applies to: Microsoft Office Excel 2003

Author:


Jan Karel Pieterse MVP

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SYMPTOMS


You have a workbook with a defined name you wish to delete, but clicking the Delete button on the Define Names dialog does not remove the name.

CAUSE


Often these names stem from imported Lotus 1-2-3 files.
They may look like:
"__123Graph_APIE MEM"
or anything else. Often those names contain non-printable characters.
But there may be other causes too, including a partial corruption of the workbook that contains the defined name.

RESOLUTION


To remove this kind of names, they must first be renamed so they do not contain illegal characters anymore.
 
Here are the steps involved:
 
1. Select Tools, Options and click the General tab.
2. Click the check box next to "R1C1 Reference Style", so that you change the current setting.
3. Press OK.
4. Excel will prompt you to change the name of any name (in all open workbooks!) that contains illegal characters.
5. Select Insert, name, define to delete the newly renamed names.
6. Set the R1C1 Reference style back the way you prefer using Tools, Options, General.