Defined Names

The specification has the following to say about defined names:

“Defined names are descriptive text that is used to represents a cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value.”

This means they are very loosely defined. They might contain a constant, a formula, a single cell reference, a range of cells or multiple ranges of cells across different worksheets. Or all of the above. They are defined globally for a workbook and accessed from there defined_names attribue.

Sample use for ranges

Accessing a range called “my_range”:

my_range = wb.defined_names['my_range']
# if this contains a range of cells then the destinations attribute is not None
dests = my_range.destinations # returns a generator of (worksheet title, cell range) tuples

cells = []
for title, coord in dests:
    ws = wb[title]
    cells.append(ws[coord])

Creating new named ranges

import openpyxl
wb = openpyxl.Workbook()
new_range = openpyxl.workbook.defined_name.DefinedName('newrange', attr_text='Sheet!$A$1:$A$5')
wb.defined_names.append(new_range)

# create a local named range (only valid for a specific sheet)
sheetid = wb.sheetnames.index('Sheet')
private_range = openpyxl.workbook.defined_name.DefinedName('privaterange', attr_text='Sheet!$A$6', localSheetId=sheetid)
wb.defined_names.append(private_range)
# this local range can't be retrieved from the global defined names
assert('privaterange' not in wb.defined_names)

# the scope has to be supplied to retrieve local ranges:
print(wb.defined_names.localnames(sheetid))
print(wb.defined_names.get('privaterange', sheetid).attr_text)
['privaterange']
Sheet!$A$6