Using the Excel INDIRECT Function


The Excel INDIRECT function is used to creates a reference specified by a text string. This function is useful if you need to convert a reference assembled as text into a proper reference.


=INDIRECT (ref_text, [a1])

Syntax Breakdown

Ref Text
Required. A reference to a cell. The cell may contain an A1-style reference, an R1C1-style reference, a name defined as a reference, or a reference to a cell as a test string. The function returns the #REF! error if ref_text is not a valid cell reference.

Ref_text can refer to another workbook. However, the other workbook must be open of the function will return the #REF! error.

The function also returns the #REF! error if ref_text is outside of the row limit (1,048,576) or the column limit (16,384).

Optional. Logical value used to specify what type of reference is contained in the ref_text cell.

If A1 is TRUE or blank, ref_text is interpreted as an A1-style reference.

If A1 is FALSE, ref_text is interpreted as an R1C1-style reference.

Usage Notes

The INDIRECT function is used to return a valid reference from a user provided text string. The reference assembled as text will be converted into a proper reference. The reference created by the function will not change, even when cells, rows, or columns are added or removed. For example, =INDIRECT("A1:A10") always refers to the first 10 rows of column A. You can insert or delete rows in this range, but the reference will not change.