While working in Excel, there are many cases where you want to refer your worksheet to a different worksheet. The topic that we will be discussing in this article is how to use Excel INDIRECT function on a different sheet where we will see the process on how the Indirect function can be used to refer a worksheet in another sheet.

Table of Contents

## Introduction to INDIRECT function

The indirect function returns a reference from an assigned cell which contains a text string. In Excel, it is used as a reference function.

### Syntax

**=INDIRECT (text_reference, [Cell_value])** which returns a genuine worksheet reference.

### Arguments

**text_reference**– Assigned text reference.

**cell_value**– It is used as an optional argument. You can specify it directly like, B1, C1 etc. It can also be defined in the R1C1 form. It is a Boolean input in Excel by default where cell value is carried as True form.

**Important Notes**

- For referring another sheet, the worksheet needs to be opened.
- The result of the INDIRECT function is evaluated as real time.
- The
**cell_value**is an optional argument and taken as Boolean input. If it is a TRUE value then the reference style will look like “**=A1**” this style. - If the
**cell_value**is a FALSE result then it will look like**R1C1**style.

### Some examples of INDIRECT Function (Get a clear idea)

Look into the below picture to have some idea about the INDIRECT function.

## Using INDIRECT Function to refer a Worksheet

Here we are going to see how to refer another worksheet in Excel using the INDIRECT function. Create 3 worksheets titled as **S1**, **S2**, and **S3** under the workbook name **B1**. In each **S1** and **S3** worksheets take some random numbers in the range of **A1: C10. **

We will refer to the worksheets **S1** and **S3** in worksheet **S2**. Initially, nothing is placed in worksheet **S2**. After inserting the data in **S1** and **S3 **do the following things in **S2**.

In column **A** of Sheet **S2**, we will write different Sheet names. Column **B** will have the cell names and in different cells of column **C**, we will get the results based on the formula used. Let`s work on row 2 first.

In cell **A2**, write **S1**. Put a cell name say **B9** in cell **B2**. Now in cell **C2** write down the formula,

and press enter. You will get to see the result **=INDIRECT("'" & A2 & "'!" & B2) ****19** in cell **C2**. For having a better instinct the formula is shown in cell **D2**.

The INDIRECT function takes the reference from cell **A2** where **S1** is written. A set of double quotes is used before **A2** which indicates the text string. For combining the arguments, **“&”** is used. For separating a worksheet from a cell **“!”** sign is used. Here using **“!”** with **“”** we are referring sheet **S1**. For preventing errors, a single quote is placed inside the double-quotes. In the end, **B2 **is written which specify the location of the cell. After the formula is placed in cell **C2** you will get the result **19** as the cell value of **B9 **in Sheet **S1 **is **19**.

Insert the formula for different sheets and for different scenarios, you will get different results that you want.

In cell **C7** and **C9**, the INDIRECT formula refers to the sheet **S3** and **S1** respectively. But in cell **D7** the location of the cell is given as **B4**. In **B4** of Sheet **S2**, **C2** is written. The cell value of cell **C2** in Sheet **S3** is **31**. So, in cell **C7** we will get the result **31**.

## Using INDIRECT Function to refer a Workbook

For referring a workbook in another workbook, first, make a new workbook titled as **B2**. Now in cell **A2**, **A3** and **A4** of workbook **B2.xlsx** write **B1.xlsx**, **S5**, and **B4** respectively.

Now, let`s say you want to find out the total sales of sheet **S5** of workbook **B1.xlsx**. Write Totals Sales in cell **A6** of workbook **B2.xlsx**. Write down the formula

in cell **=INDIRECT("'[" & A2 & "]" & A3 & "'!" & A4) ****B6** and press Enter. Now, you will see the result of cell **B4** of worksheet **S5** which is under the Workbook **B1.xlsx** in the worksheet **Sheet1** of workbook **B2.xlsx**.

## Numeric Calculation after referring a worksheet using the INDIRECT Function

Let`s say you want to calculate the SUM result of some values of a worksheet by referring it to another worksheet. To do this, make a new worksheet named **S4**. In cell **A2,** write down **S1**. Type the formula,

in cell **=SUM(INDIRECT("'"&A2&"'!"&"A1:A4"))****B2** and you will get the result **10** in cell **B2**. Here the formula indicates the sheet **S1** as **S1** is written in cell **A2**. The defined range here is **A1: A4**. So, the formula will select the range **A1: A4** and will calculate the SUM result of the values placed in those cells.

Again, the formula,

will return the value **=SUM(INDIRECT("'"&A3&"'!"&"C1:C4"))****126** in cell **B3**.

## Using Excel INDIRECT Function with Data Validation

Let`s work on an example where total and average sales of years 2016, 2017, and 2018 are given in three different sheets. The sheets’ name is defined by its years. We want to find the total sales amount and average sales amount for each year on a different sheet.

To perform this, make a new worksheet named S5. Now, after selecting cell **B2** click on to the **Data** **Validation** option under the **Data** tab. In the **Data Validation** dialogue box do the following and press **OK**.

Write **Total sales** and **Average Sales** in cell **A4** and cell **A5. **Now in cell B4 write the formula,

It will calculate the Total sales of each year. In cell **=SUM(INDIRECT("'"&B2&"'!"&"B2:B13"))****B5, **write down the formula,

for calculating the average cells. The formulas are shown in cell C4 and C5 for clearing confusions.**=AVERAGE(INDIRECT("'"&B2&"'!"&"B2:B13"))**

Now by changing the year in cell **B2**, you will see the values change every time. Here we defined sheet names with data validation in cell **B2**. The two formulas take the reference from cell **B2**. So, by changing the year in cell **B2** every time, the values of cell **B4** and **B5** changes.

## Download The Working File

## Conclusion

As you can see it is quite easy to refer a worksheet in another sheet by using the INDIRECT function. We can even perform many numeric calculations. Hope this article will find your interest. Don`t hesitate to ask any question.

Thank you for sharing.

Why it cannot work between different workbooks if is closed?

Is there any work around to get a data from a workbook even if it is closed??

Thank you again..

Thank You for the exact answer I spent a lot of time looking for. I found many answers on the web but nothing like the simple one you gave that works for exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!

You’re most welcome. Glad to know that it helped you.

Thank you very much for this write-up. It saved me as well!