Article ID: 213933 - View products that this article applies to.
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For a Microsoft Excel 97 and earlier and Microsoft Excel 98 and earlier version of this article, see 151323
In Microsoft Excel, the INDIRECT worksheet function returns the contents of the specified reference and displays its contents. You can use the INDIRECT worksheet function to create linked references to other workbooks. You can reference each attribute of the reference (workbook name, worksheet name, and cell reference) individually by using the INDIRECT function to create a user-defined dynamic reference with worksheet cell references as inputs.
Note The INDIRECT function only returns the result of a reference to an open file. If a workbook that the INDIRECT function is indirectly referencing is closed, the function returns a #REF! error.
To create a reference to a workbook using three different cell inputs as references for the workbook, worksheet, and cell link, follow the steps in the following examples.
Example 2In Excel 2003 and in earlier versions of Excel, you can replace the formula in Example 1 with multiple INDIRECT statements, as in the following formula:
=INDIRECT("'["&INDIRECT("A1")&".xls]"&INDIRECT("A2")&"'!"&INDIRECT("A3"))In Excel 2007 and Excel 2010, type the following formula:
=INDIRECT("'["&INDIRECT("A1")&".xlsx]"&INDIRECT("A2")&"'!"&INDIRECT("A3"))Note the difference in how Excel references the cells. Example 1 references cells A1, A2, and A3 without using quotation marks, while Example 2 references the cells using quotation marks around the references.
The INDIRECT function references cells without using quotation marks. This function evaluates the result of the cell reference. For example, if cell A1 contains the text "B1," and B1 contains the word "TEST," the formula =INDIRECT(A1) returns the result "TEST."
However, referencing a cell with quotation marks returns the result of the cell contents. In the example in the previous sentence, the formula returns the text string "B1" instead of the contents of cell B1.