The Importance Of INDIRECT Function

The Importance Of INDIRECT Function

INDIRECT Function yields a reference to a range. The range being referred can be a named range, a range of cells or can be a cell. The formula is represented as

=INDIRECT(ref_text, [a1])

Several excel users have been mystified with the usage of INDIRECT function. If you are of the opinion that this function does not have a lot to offer to the users, then think again!  There are several ways in which this function can be used in a workbook.

  • Referenced range is a cell

The content of the referenced cell is returned when the referenced range is a cell. For instance, if in cell G9 you enter D10 in A1 style and in a different cell you enter INDIRECT (G9), then this returns the value of the cell D10. From the following example, 32 is the number which is returned indirectly.

 

cell ref

 

  1. Reference is a range of cells

 

The INDIRECT function returns the contents of the cells referenced, when the referenced range considered is a range of cells. The syntax is represented as

 =SUM(INDIRECT(C9:E9))

 

The SUM function can then be entered which totals the referenced cells. For instance, if in cell I9, C9:E9 is entered in A1 style and in a different cell you enter INDIRECT (I9), then this will sum the values indirectly present within the cells. In the following example, 106 is the value returned.

 

             range of cells

 

  1. Reference is a named range

The INDIRECT function returns the content of named range when the referenced range is a named range. A sum function can be entered that will sum up the named ranged. A named range needs to be created by entering a name in the Name Box as well as by choosing the data range. The syntax is:  =SUM(INDIRECT(NamedRange)).

Consider having several Named ranges within a Workbook that refer different data sets. This technique can be employed for choosing several data sets and summation of each can be obtained by using the INDIRECT function. 

 

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