Returns a reference indicated by a text value
Create a cell reference using a text string in Excel


Create a cell reference using a text string.


The Excel INDIRECT function create a cell reference from a given text string. For example: if a sheet name is NUMBER and cell C11 contain the text “Hello” the formula =INDIRECT(B5&”!C11″) returns HELLO, cell B5- NUMBER.


= INDIRECT(ref_text, [a1])


ref_text – The reference text
a1 [optional] – A logical value (TRUE or FALSE); TRUE – A1 reference style or FALSE – R1C1 reference style

Return Value

Reference in text

Key Notes

In Excel INDIRECT formula, if a worksheet name includes “ “ (space) we must add the single quote “‘” and ampersand  “&” in the formula.
Example: If a worksheet name changed from NewYork to New York then the same formula should be changed from =INDIRECT(B6&”!A1″) to =INDIRECT(“‘”&B6&”‘”&”!A1″)

  • The function is useful when a user wants to convert a text string to a cell reference. =INDIRECT(A1:A12) will always refer to Row 1 to 12 in A column and does not change even if we add or delete a row or column.
  • Excel displays the value containing in the reference but does not adjust the cell reference automatically.
  • For a1 [optional] the default argument is TRUE – A1 reference style.
  • In case the reference cell is from another workbook, the same workbook must be open simultaneously otherwise returns the #REF! error value.

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