# How to Use Variable Row Number as Cell Reference in Excel

As shown in the below screenshot, we want the sum of a couple of numbers. We can simply get the sum by summing the range (i.e., B5:B11). However, if we can’t insert B11 as cell reference then we use a random row number (i.e.C5). The INDIRECT, OFFSET, or INDEX function converts the C5 cell value 11 as B11 cell reference. The overall conversion becomes B(C5)=B11.

## How to Use Variable Row Number as Cell Reference in Excel: 4 Easy Ways

Our dataset contains Serial Number as row number and other columns as shown in the following picture. We want the sum of Total Price using variable row number as a cell reference.

### Method 1 – The INDIRECT Function to Enable a Variable Row Number as a Cell Reference

The INDIRECT function returns a cell reference taking the text as arguments. The syntax of the INDIRECT function is

`=INDIRECT (ref_text, [a1])`

ref_text; reference in a text string

[a1]; boolean indication of cell A1. TRUE (by default) = cell A1 style. [optional]

Steps:

• Paste the following formula in the respective cell (i.e., F16).
`=SUM(F5:INDIRECT("F"&B15+4))`

The SUM function formula simply sums the range (i.e., F5:F15). But first, the INDIRECT function takes the B15 cell value (i.e.,11) then adds 4 to make it 15. At last, INDIRECT passes it as F15 to the formula. As a result, F(B15) becomes F(11+4)=F15

• Press Enter.

### Method 2 – Insert a Variable Row Number as a Cell Reference Using OFFSET

Similar to the INDIRECT function, the Excel OFFSET function also returns cell reference. The syntax of the OFFSET function is

`=OFFSET (reference, rows, cols, [height], [width])`

reference; starting cell from where the row and column number will be counted

rows; number of rows below the reference.

cols; number of columns right to the reference.

height; number of the rows in the returned reference. [optional]

width; number of columns in the returned reference. [optional]

Steps:

• Use the below formula in the cell F16.
`= SUM(F5:OFFSET(F5, B15-1,0,1,1))`

In the above formula, the OFFSET function takes F5 as a cell reference, B15-1 (i.e., 11-1=10) as variable rows, 0 as cols, 1 as height and width. By changing the B15 or B15-1 you can insert any number as the cell reference.

• Hit Enter to display the total sum.

### Method 3 – INDEX Function to Use a Variable Row Number

The INDEX function results in values of the assigned location. The syntax of the INDEX function is

`=INDEX (array, row_num, [col_num], [area_num])`

array; range or array.

row_num; row number in the range or array.

col_num; column number in the range or array. [optional]

area_num; range used in the reference. [optional]

Steps:

• Use the following formula in any blank cell (i.e., F16)
`=SUM(F5:INDEX(F:F,B15+4))`

The INDEX function considers the F (i.e., F:F) column as an array, B15+4= 15 as the row_num. Other arguments are optional so it’s not necessary to use them. The INDEX(F:F,B15+4) portion in the formula returns \$35.4 (i.e., F15 cell value). Changing B15 or B15+4 results in variable row numbers in the formula.

• Use the Enter key to get the result.

### Method 4 – VBA Macro to Take a Variable Row Number as a Cell Reference

Suppose we want to highlight specific rows (i.e., C5:D15) as shown in the following image in bold.

Steps:

• Press Alt + F11 to open the Microsoft Visual Basic window.
• Select Insert (from the Toolbar) and click on Module.

• Paste the following macro in the Module.
``````Sub Row_variable()
Dim R_num As Integer
R_num = InputBox("Provide Preferred Row Number")
Sheets("VBA").Range(Cells(R_num, 3), Cells((R_num + 10), 4)).Select
Selection.Font.Bold = True
End Sub``````

The macro code takes a row number using a VBA Input Box then highlights the first 10 rows. The highlight is done using VBA Selection.Font.Bold property.Sheets.Range statement assigns a specific sheet and range. Also, it defines the range using the VBA CELL property.

• Use the F5 key to run the macro.
• The macro displays an input box and asks to enter a row number.
• Enter the row number (i.e., 5) and click on OK.

• Clicking OK takes you to the Module window.
• You see the assigned range (i.e., C5:D15) gets highlighted in Bold.

## Related Articles

<< Go Back to Cell Reference in ExcelExcel Formulas | Learn Excel

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF