How to Rename a Column in Google Sheets (The Easy Way!)

In this article we will show you how to rename a column in Google Sheets in just a few simple clicks. Just follow the steps below.

How to Rename Columns in Google Sheets

While we cannot physically change the column letter, we can either add a header to a data set or rename a column in Google Sheets to make it easier to be referenced and understood in formulas.

For the purpose of this demonstration an example sheet was created. Click here to access the link and follow along at home.

Renaming a Column by Adding a Header Row 

We can add a header to a column in a data set allowing an easier understanding of the data contained. The example below demonstrates how to achieve this.

1. Click an empty cell at the top of the column to highlight it

Click an empty cell in the column you want to name, be sure to choose a cell at the top of your data. Once clicked the cell will highlight.

In our example we need to rename Column B using a header therefore we have highlighted the empty cell at the top of the data in Column B.

Name column in Google Sheets: Double click empty cell

2. Type in the desired column name

In the empty cell type in your desired column name.

As our example data contains a list of students, we will type the word Student to accurately represent the data.

How to rename columns: Type in new column name

3. Highlight the text and click the “Bold” symbol from the toolbar

Highlight the text in the cell by clicking and dragging across the text. You can bold the text by clicking the Bold symbol B from the top toolbar or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl (Cmd ⌘ on Mac) + B.

Google spreadsheet rename column: Bold text

4. Click outside of the selected cell to view the header

Click anywhere outside of the cell and the header now displays above your data.

As we can see in our example, the column shows Student clearly as a separate header.

Google Sheet rename column: Header results‍

Renaming a Column Using Column Actions

We can assign a column a custom name that is useful and more easily referenceable when using formulas. 

1. Right Click on the Column Letter and click “View more column actions” 

Right click on the column letter, from the menu that displays select View more column actions to show the side menu.

How to change column name in Google Sheets: Right click menu

2. Click “Define the named range”.

From the side menu select Define the named range. The Named ranges menu will now display on the right hand side of the display. 

Google spreadsheet rename column: Named range

3. Type in the column name

In the Named ranges section is an input box with the default text “NamedRange1”, select and delete this text. You can then input your desired column name.

In our example as we are renaming Column C to “Fees”, we enter the text “Fees” into the input box.

Name column in Google Sheets: Type column name

4. Click “Done” and see the results

Click the “Done” button, the column will be renamed and the defined name can now be used in formulas.

As can be seen in our example, the new column name is recognized in the formula.

Rename column Google Sheets: Results

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