This article was previously published under Q167379
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you use a natural language formula to reference cells, the result is a#NAME? error.
This problem occurs when the data the formula refers to is returned fromeither of the following:
an external database
If a formula that uses a natural language reference returns a #NAME? errorafter you update data from an external database, do the following torecalculate the formula:
Click the cell that contains the #NAME? error.
Press F2, and then press ENTER.
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft productslisted at the beginning of this article.
When you use natural language formulas, it is not necessary to createdefined names or determine the cell ranges in advance. Microsoft Excel 97determines the range based on the row and column labels that you providein 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 thefollowing 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 datain 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 sumof quarters 1 and 2 for the West region:
However, if your data is linked or from an external data source and youupdate the data, the formula returns #NAME?.For additional information about using natural language formulas, pleasesee the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: