I am creating a spreadsheet application which will require a user to fill in different sections of an input sheet. To separate out these sections into logical means, I am using headers and sub headers as seen below:
If I have a lot of headers, there will be a significant amount of manual work in numbering the headers. I have made some attempt at automating the process by creating a Header1
named range which equates to the grey headers in the picture below. So within the A2
and A11
cells, the formula is =Header1
. The formula in the Header1
named range is:
IF(COUNTA(INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))))=0,0,INDEX(INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))),MATCH(ROW(INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))),INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))),TRUE)))+1
Basically the formula counts all of the values in column A and adds 1 on. In other words it nicely increments every time you call Header1
in your cell, regardless of what worksheet you are in (hence the use of INDIRECT
). The only piece of hard coding is the starting cell which is A1
and I have put a 0 in that so it detects to start from 1.
My question is – In a similar manner to how I have achieved incrementing headers using named ranges, how can I do this for sub headers? My picture above shows the effect I am trying to achieve (i.e. 2.1
, 2.2
) however I want this to be automatic by simply putting a formula of =Header2
in the cell for example.
EDIT – I have gotten as far as this formula:
=SUM(INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()1)))) & "." & MAX(1,COUNTA(INDEX(INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$B$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))),MATCH(SUM(INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))))1,INDIRECT(CONCATENATE("$A$1",":",ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()1))),FALSE)):INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW()1,COLUMN()))))
…which works when placed as a formula in a cell, but doesn’t work when used in a named range. Odd!
Good idea using Defined Names
to hold the formula. However your formula is highly volatile.
Suggest to create two defined names at workbook level (scope) as follows:

Named
_Hdr
(change as required) with the following formula:=IF( COLUMN() <> 1, "", 1 + MAX( INDEX(!$A:$A, 1 ) : INDEX(!$A:$A,  1 + ROW() ) ) )

Named
_Sub
(change as required) with the following formula:=IF( COLUMN() <> 2, "", 0.01 + IF( MAX( INDEX(!$A:$A, 1 ) : INDEX(!$A:$A,  1 + ROW() ) ) > MAX( INDEX(!$B:$B, 1 ) : INDEX(!$B:$B,  1 + ROW() ) ), MAX( INDEX(!$A:$A, 1 ) : INDEX(!$A:$A,  1 + ROW() ) ), MAX( INDEX(!$B:$B, 1 ) : INDEX(!$B:$B,  1 + ROW() ) ) ) )
Use 0.1
if sub items are less than 10, if higher but less than 100 use 0.01
(adjust as required)
Edit: Add !
to the column ranges in the formulas to ensure that the references will automatically update to the corresponding Sheet
where the formula is used.
The formulas above are broken in several lines to ease reading and understanding, enter then as one line when creating the names.
Also suggest to hide the Define Names
(i.e. Visible = False
) in order to avoid formulas being accidentally altered.
With the above names:
 There is no need to enter zero at row 1.
 The formulas work with numbers ignoring any labels.
 They check first that the formula is entered in the expected column (i.e.
_Hdr
and_Sub
columns1
and2
respectively).  As the formulas work with numbers they get the
MAX
number for each column and add1
or0.1
to generate the next number.  Formulas are no volatile (no use of
INDIRECT
).  They use the
INDEX
function to generate the required ranges.
Tags: excelexcel