Excel has a little box on the upper left corner that displays the name of the cell (for example A8, C20, BC104, ...) and this name can be changed to a string of choice (like Force, mass, acc, ...) so that when one wants to do a calculation in some cell, one doesn't have to enter the meaningless default names (e.g. =A8*C20), but one can enter the specified names (e.g. =mass*acc).

How can I do this in Google Sheets?

2 Answers 2


You'll want to make use of Named Ranges. In this case, the range of cells is one.

  1. Select your cell

  2. Toolbar → Data → Named ranges... (or right-click on cell and select Define named range)

    On the right you will notice a new Named ranges sidebar appear named ranges sidebar

  3. Edit out "NamedRange1" to whatever you prefer to name the cell

  4. Double-check the cell reference below your new cell name is correct

  5. Click Done

Now you can use that reference to point to that cell instead of having to use the row:column reference.

  • NOTE: Then the named range will be available, just like a cell name. So you can write formulas like so now, =42*NamedRange1
    – Brad Parks
    Dec 15, 2020 at 23:11
  • As of 2023 (probably sooner) you can click on a cell and type a name in the "name box" just like the original poster was used to in Excel. This defines a Named Range, just like in the Named Ranges sidebar. You can press CTRL+J to jump to the Name box as you're working.
    – evilspoons
    May 11 at 21:32

Excel has a little box on the upper left corner that displays the name of the cell (for example "A8").

This feature is particularly useful for type a certain formula function else where you might use A8 contend.

However, Google Sheets, in contrast with Excel, doesn´t display such Label. Thus Google Sheets prevent users to check where the arrow is on.

  • 1
    Nowadays Google Sheets has this "little box"
    – Rubén
    Feb 5, 2021 at 23:51

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