Skip to Content

How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets (2023)

Google Sheets is the best spreadsheet program to organize and analyze large datasets. Users can easily rename the columns headers by simply double-clicking on their existing names. There are other methods that let you define column headers and use them in formulas for further calculations.

That being said,

Each spreadsheet column should be properly named if you are dealing with huge numbers or columns and rows in Google Sheets.

In this article, let us discuss two methods to rename columns in Google Sheets. Read this article till the end because we will discuss the trick to renaming the column headers to use in formulas.

Click on the following links to jump to that particular section of the article:

Download the Example Google Sheet

Consider downloading the following Google Sheet and follow me along as we move through this article.

Click Here!

This way, you will become a pro at renaming the column header and performing various calculations based on it.

If you have your own Google Sheet ready with you to practice the things we are about to discuss, then skip downloading the above file.

How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets

It is pretty straightforward. You don’t need to be an expert at Google Sheets to rename a column header.

Using proper nomenclature for columns in Google Sheets makes sure that your colleagues and clients will quickly and easily understand their purpose.

This will further help everyone analyze the dataset and prepare reports.

Task: Rename the column headers of the following table. We need to make changes as follows,

  • “Employee Name” to “Full Name
  • “Joining Date” to “Hire Date

Here are the steps to rename columns in Google Sheets,

  • Select the cell “A1”, which holds the first header
  • Double-click on it to edit
  • Press “Backspace” on your keyboard several times to erase the existing header name (“Employee Name”)
  • Type “Full Name
  • Press Enter” key
  • Next, select the cell “B1” and double-click on it
  • Using the “Backspace” key, erase everything from the cell B1
  • Type “Hire Date
  • Press the “Enter” key

After following the steps above to change the column headers, our new table will look like below.

Refer to the GIF above. It is really simple to change the column header names. All you need to do is select the cell, double-click on it, erase the existing header name, and then start typing the new header name.

Another way to edit the column name is to select the cell and use the name box that sits above the higher-rightmost side of the table.

How to Rename Columns to Use in Google Sheets Formulas

In this method, let us assign a static name to the entire column. This name can be used further in various formulas to perform calculations, sort datasets, and more.

We will use the “Named range” feature by Google Sheets.

Task: Rename the column header (“Salary”) using Named range and find the sum of total salary processed in January 2023.

Let’s start,

  • Select the entire column as shown below. You need to click on “C
  • Right click
  • Select the last option, “View more column actions”, from the popup
  • Click on “Define named range
  • A new dialog box will appear on the right side of the screen
  • Click on the first box and erase everything
  • Type “Salary
    (Note that you can only use characters and numbers here. It doesn’t accept names that contain special characters and space)
  • Press the “Done” button in the green
  • Next, to change the column header name for visual analysis, double-click on the cell “C1” and erase everything using the “Backspace” button
  • Type “Salay
  • Press “Enter
  • Now, create a new table as shown below
  • Click on the cell “F1
  • Type “=sum
  • Select the first option from the popup or press Tab” on your keyboard
  • Type “Salary

    (As you can see, Google Sheets has automatically recognized the name of the column header. You can either write the complete name or select the first option from the popup, as shown in the above image)
  • Complete the bracket using “)
  • Press the “Enter” key

Google Sheets allows you to use the Named ranges feature for every column. In case of a huge number of columns, you need to rename each column one by one by following the steps above.

Without any doubt, it is a lot of manual work. But it is worth it, though, because you can use these column names in any formula without any limitations.

It will surely boost your calculation speed and help you deliver reports on time.

Q. What is another way to access the Named ranges feature in Google Sheets?

You can access this feature from the main menu. Follow the steps below,

  • Select the entire column as shown below
  • Hover to the main menu and click on “Data” tab
  • Choose “Named ranges” from the popup

Both ways to access the Named ranges feature are quick and easy. You can choose it as per your preference.

How to freeze the column header to make it visible while scrolling down

It is a common problem while dealing with a huge dataset where we have tens and hundreds of rows and columns.

In the case of mobile users, it becomes a serious issue to keep scrolling and remembering the column name.

Google Sheets has the solution for them. It allows you to keep column headers visible while scrolling down the table.

Follow the steps below to free the column header (first row) in Google Sheets.

  • Select the first row, which holds the column headers
  • Hover to the main menu and click on “View” tab
  • Choose the “Freeze” option from the popup
  • Select “1 row” to freeze the column header

That’s it!

Now, when you keep scrolling down the spreadsheet, the first row holding the column headers will stay intact.


Renaming columns for visual analysis and use in formulas is quite easy with the steps discussed above.

I hope this article taught you everything about how to rename columns in Google Sheets.

Feel free to comment below if you are still stuck somewhere or having any particular issue with renaming columns and using them in a formula. Our team of experts will assist you as soon as possible.

Also, make sure to check our blog section. It includes plenty of articles discussing the tips and tricks to use the Google Sheets.