Excel tables and structured references

Mar 23, 2009 at 5:30 PM
My answers to the "Create edge variables based on node attributes" post (http://nodexl.codeplex.com/Thread/View.aspx?ThreadId=50469) raised a question about the square-bracket cell references in the formulas I posted.  Here is my answer, in case anyone else is wondering about the square brackets or about Excel tables in general:

Those square brackets comprise what Excel calls "structured references" and can be used whenever you reference a table.  They're a more flexible and robust alternative to using standard A1 notation.  See "Using structured references with Excel tables" for details:
 
 
To create a table in Excel 2007, you select the range of cells you want in your table, then select Insert, Table in the Excel Ribbon.  Once you have a table you gain access to a number of features, including structured references, table formatting (the blue stripes you see in NodeXL), automatic table expansion, an optional totals row, and so on.  See "Overview of Excel tables":