Correct a #NAME? error

Occurs when Microsoft Excel doesn't recognize text in a formula.

  1. Click the cell that displays the error, click the button that appears Button image, and then click Trace Error if it appears.
  2. Review the possible causes and solutions.

Possible causes and solutions

ShowUsing a function that is part of the Analysis Toolpak add-in, without the add-in being loaded

Install and load the Analysis Toolpak add-in (address: The path to an object, document, file, page, or other destination. An address can be a URL (Web address) or a UNC path (network address), and can include a specific location within a file, such as a Word bookmark or an Excel cell range.).


  1. On the Tools menu, click Add-Ins.
  2. In the Add-Ins available list, select the Analysis ToolPak box, and then click OK.
  3. If necessary, follow the instructions in the setup program.

ShowUsing a name that does not exist

Make sure the name (name: A word or string of characters that represents a cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value. Use easy-to-understand names, such as Products, to refer to hard to understand ranges, such as Sales!C20:C30.) exists. On the Insert menu, point to Name, and then click Define. If the name is not listed, add the name by using the Define command.

ShowMisspelling the name

ShowUsing a label in a formula, without labels being allowed

Allow labels to be used. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Calculation tab. Under Workbook options, select the Accept labels in formulas check box.

ShowMisspelling the name of a function

Correct the spelling. Insert the correct function name into the formula by clicking Function on the Insert menu.

ShowEntering text in a formula without enclosing the text in double quotation marks

(Excel tries to interpret your entry as a name even though you intended it to be used as text.)

Enclose text in the formula in double quotation marks. For example, the following formula joins the piece of text "The total amount is " with the value in cell B50:

="The total amount is "&B50

ShowOmitting a colon (:) in a range reference

Make sure all range references in the formula use a colon (:); for example, SUM(A1:C10).

ShowReferencing another sheet not enclosed in single quotation marks

If the formula refers to values or cells on other worksheets or workbooks and the name of the other workbook or worksheet contains a nonalphabetical character or a space, you must enclose its name within single quotation marks ( ' ).

Applies to:
Excel 2003