How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets (2 Methods)

Giving a name to your columns can be quite useful if you want to use these in the formulas.

Instead of using the column alphabet in the formula, you can instead use a better name that’s more descriptive.

For example, instead of using =SUM(C:C), you can use =SUM(sales)

And you don’t even need to remember what column has the sales data. Once you have renamed the column to anything descriptive, you can then use this new given name in formulas.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to rename columns in Google Sheets.

Rename Columns To Use in Formulas

Suppose you have a dataset as shown below and you want to rename column C to Sales.

Dataset to rename columns

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Click the Data optionClick the Data option
  2. Click on Named Range. This will open the ‘Named ranges’ pane on the rightClick the Named Range option
  3. Click on the ‘Add a range’ optionClick on Add a range
  4. Enter the name you want to give the column (“Sales” in this example)Enter the name of the column
  5. Make sure the column range is correct. In case it isn’t, you can change it hereCheck that the range is correct
  6. Click on Done

The above steps would assign the name Sales to Column C.

Now I can use the below formula and it will give me the sum of all the sales values in column C.

SUM formula that uses the column name

Note: When you rename a column, it won’t change the column header that appears when you scroll down the worksheet. This is something that happens with Excel tables, but this feature is not yet available in Google Sheets yet.

Keep Column Headers Visible When Scrolling Down

Another reason you may want to rename a column in Google Sheets is to make sure that the column header remains visible when you scroll down the sheet.

Unfortunately, this can not be done in Google Sheets, but there is a workaround.

You can freeze the top row that has the header. This way, the header will always be visible when you scroll down.

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Enter the column header in the top-most cell of the column. In our example, we already have the headersHeaders in the dataset
  2. Click the View tabClick the view tab
  3. Hover the cursor over the Freeze option
  4. Click on the ‘1 Row’ optionSelect the 1 row to freeze the top row

The above steps would make sure that the column header always remains visible when you scroll down.

As I said, this is not exactly renaming the column (as we have to enter the column header manually in the top row), it still achieves the desired result.

So these are two methods you can use to rename columns in Google Sheets.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

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