# What is a Cell Range

In a spreadsheet a cell range is a collection of selected cells. This cell range is usually symmetrical (square), but can exist of separate cells just the same. A cell range can be referred to in a formula.

In a spreadsheet, a cell range is defined by the reference of the upper left cell (minimum value) of the range and the reference of the lower right cell (maximum value) of the range. Eventually separate cells can be added to this selection, then the range is called an irregular cell range. In Excel, the minimum and maximum value are included. That’s different from a mathematical range, in which it is a collection of values between a maximum and a minimum value.

## Appearance of a Cell Range

A symmetrical cell range can appear as below. The notation for this range is (A1:C6).

## Irregular Cell Ranges

Irregular cell ranges, like in the image below, also occur. The notation for this range is (A1:C6;E2;E6;C7;C9).

## A Cell Range Within a Formula

A cell range can be used inside a formula, for example to calculate the sum of the values within the selected cells: =SUM(A1:C6).

## Range Issues

Larger spreadsheets are usually stuffed with formulas based on cell ranges. When spreadsheets are edited or expanded over time, different types of range issues may occur. These issues are usually hard to detect, but they can be very risky! We’ve seen big numbers and large sums of money ‘disappear’ because of range issues.

PerfectXL detects different types of range issues, like references to empty cells, interrupted formula ranges, merged cells, references to merged cells, unexpected ranges and ranges in which unexpected shifts occur.

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### Don’t Merge Cells

It is so tempting! Merge cells in Excel so they form a header above two or more columns. Yes, it looks nice but resist the temptation because it can be dangerous.
Do not merge cells

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