How to use the INDIRECT function in Excel?

Is manipulating cell references in Excel formulas causing you problems? Let's unfold the complexities of using the INDIRECT function in Excel with this discourse.

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Understanding the INDIRECT function: The INDIRECT function is one of Excel's lookup/reference functions that allows you to change the reference to a cell within a formula, without changing the formula itself. The power of the INDIRECT function is that it can turn any string into a reference. Syntax: The syntax of the INDIRECT function is INDIRECT(ref_text, [a1]). - `ref_text` is a required argument that represents a cell reference or a named range. - `[a1]` is an optional argument that is a logical value: if TRUE, `ref_text` is interpreted as an A1-style reference; if FALSE, i.e., omitted, `ref_text` is interpreted as an R1C1-style reference. Working with the INDIRECT function: Suppose we have a workbook with two worksheets, "Sheet1" and "Sheet2". On "Sheet1"'s A1 cell, we type "Sheet2" and on "Sheet2"'s B1 cell, we put any value, say 10. If we now write `=INDIRECT(A1 & "!B1")` in any cell in "Sheet1", it will display 10, value from "Sheet2"'s B1 cell. The INDIRECT function is especially useful when you want your formula’s target to be adjustable. This can be invaluable when working with multiple tabs of data, table consolidation, complex lookup situations, or dynamically driven formulas. Limitations: It is important to note a few limitations of the INDIRECT function. Firstly, it's a volatile function, which means it recalculates with every change made in the worksheet, and too many INDIRECT functions can slow down your Excel workbook. Also, INDIRECT does not work with references to another workbook that is closed. Remember to correctly use cell references in your formulas to avoid common mistakes and errors. Linked references or using an Excel Table can help sidestep any potential issues. Always pay careful attention to the details in your function syntax. Hope this helps you in efficiently using the INDIRECT function in Excel. Feel free to ask if you have any further queries.
Answered on August 25, 2023.
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