How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets (And Label Them as You Wish!)

Giving names to the columns can make things useful and easy, especially when it comes to using functions.

Instead of using the column letters in the formulas, you can use the column names, which are more descriptive, so working with these spreadsheets becomes convenient.

However, the trick is that you cannot simply rename a column, just like you rename the sheet, so I’ve curated this guide to help you name columns in Google Sheets.

After trying and testing them, I have explained several methods to help you do it within minutes.

How to Name Columns in Google Sheets 

Naming columns in Google Sheets is not possible directly, but you can “rename them” by creating ranges. Below I have explained how you can create named ranges for columns. 

How to Label Columns in Google Sheets Using Named Ranges 

Step 1: Open the Google Spreadsheet in which you want to rename columns.

Step 2: Now click on Data from the Options Menu, and select Named Ranges

The screenshot shows two arrows. First arrow points on the Data menu item in the Options Menu. Second arrow points to 'named ranges' in the sub-menu

Step 3: A dialogue box will open on the right side of the screen. Click on Add a Range.

Arrow points on the 'Add a range' option that is available in the dialogue box

Step 4: Select the column that you want to change the name for. 

Select the column that you want to apply named ranges to. On the screenshot, entire C column was selected

Step 5: Now enter your preferred name in the name range section. Make sure there is no space or other signs in the new name, as Google Sheets don’t support them.

Arrow points on the preferred name input field in the name range section

Step 5: Click on Done, and you have successfully renamed the column.

Step 6: Now, you can use this name when entering formulas in Google Sheets.

Screenshot shows how the named range can be used in Google Sheets

How to Create Column Headers in Google Sheets 

If you want an alternative to column headers and want the column name visible while you scroll in the Google Spreadsheet, you can use the freeze feature. This function freezes the selected row, which shows you the column headers you want.

Step 1: Select the columns you want to create headers for. 

The screenshot shows rows 1 being selected

Step 2: Click on View from the Menu bar option, and select Freeze

Two arrows are visible in the image. The first one is pointing to the View menu item in the options menu. The second one is pointing to the 'Freeze' submenu item

Step 3: Now choose Freeze 1 Row, and you are good to go.

Step 4: As you scroll down in the sheet, the selected columns will always be visible as headers. 

PS. I wrote an entire article on how to keep a row fixed in google sheets so make sure you don’t miss it 🙂

How to Rename Rows in Google Sheets 

Technically, you cannot rename a row in Google Sheets, but you can use the name ranges to easily assign a name to use the specific row in formulas.

Step 1: Click on Data from the menu bar, and select name ranges

The screenshot shows two arrows. First arrow points on the Data menu item in the Options Menu. Second arrow points to 'named ranges' in the sub-menu

Step 2: Click on Add a Range, and then select the row you want to rename.

The screenshot shows how to add a named range to a selected row. In this particular case, it's row number 7

Step 3: Give the row a name of your choice, and click on Done.

Step 4: Now, you can use the new name in formulas to select the row you have renamed.

The screenshot shows the final effect of adding a named range to a row.

How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets Mobile App (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

At the moment of writing this tutorial, you cannot rename columns in Google Sheets using the mobile app. Additionally, the named ranges function works only on the PC version.

Final Thoughts 

This detailed article on how to rename columns in Google Sheets has explained everything in detail. You can follow these steps to rename rows and columns and use them in formulas without confusion.

One thing to note is that the name of the column or row header won’t be visible on the spreadsheet.

Do you have any queries regarding renaming rows and columns in Google Sheets? Drop your questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you.

Stay tuned with us to become a master at using Google Sheets! 

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