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Create and Use a Dynamic Worksheet Reference in Excel

We can create a dynamic worksheet so that cell references can be variable instead of hand-keying them. A dynamic worksheet can be created with the INDIRECT function. The easy steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1: Result of the Dynamic Worksheet Reference

Syntax

=INDIRECT(sheet_name&"!A1”)

Formula

=INDIRECT(B4&"!A1")

Setting up the Data

We will set up the data by doing the following:

  • We will name the first sheet as reference worksheet by right-clicking the plus sign enclosed in a circle as shown in figure 2 and click on rename
  • We will create Sheet1 to Sheet4 by clicking on the plus sign enclosed in a circle

Figure 2: Dynamic reference worksheet

  • We will input the following values into Cell A1 in Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3, and Sheet4 respectively: 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000

Figure 3: Sheet 1 to Sheet4 containing Values in Cell A1

  • We will input the data as shown in figure 4 into the reference worksheet

Figure 4: Inputting the sheet names into the reference worksheet

Using a Dynamic Worksheet Reference

  • We will input the formula below into Cell C4 of the REFERENCE WORKSHEET:

 

Figure 5: How to Use a Dynamic Worksheet Reference

  • We will press enter

Figure 6: How to Use a Dynamic Worksheet Reference

  • We will use the drop-down feature to get the values for the other sheets

Figure 7: Result of the Dynamic Worksheet Reference

Explanation

The INDIRECT function works by evaluating text as a worksheet reference. Here, the name of each sheet is joined to the cell reference (A1) using concatenation:

=INDIRECT(B4&"!A1")

Once concatenation is done, the result is:

=INDIRECT("Sheet1!A1")

The INDIRECT function will recognize the value in Cell A1 of Sheet1 and return the value. The same applies when we use the drop-down feature for the other sheets.

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Here are some problems that our users have asked and received explanations on

I need to make a dynamic sheet reference for all cells in a formula
Solved by E. U. in 24 mins
I'm trying to create a rolling chart. The reference point for the data is a date that's entered on a worksheet named "Aging Data Picker". The data to be charted is on a worksheet named "Data for Chart". The chart is on a different worksheet. I set up a defined name for the data sets & labels. They use the offset function with a set reference point & that's fine. I want to use a dynamic reference point based on the date on the "Aging Data Picker" and tried the formula =OFFSET("'Data for Chart'!"&ADDRESS(MATCH('Aging Date Picker'!B3,'Data for Chart'!$A:$A),1),0,0,-6,1) Excel reports an error, but isn't more specific & I can't spot the problem. Can you please help?
Solved by G. E. in 30 mins
how do I reference a cell in another worksheet
Solved by K. L. in 17 mins

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