Indirect function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows users to reference a cell or range of cells indirectly, rather than directly. This means that instead of specifying the cell or range directly in the formula, you can use a cell reference or text string to represent the cell or range.
One of the main benefits of using the indirect function is that it allows you to create dynamic references that can change based on the value of another cell. This can be particularly useful when working with large data sets, as it allows you to create formulas that automatically update based on changes in the data.
To use the indirect function in Excel, you need to enter the formula =INDIRECT(reference), where reference is the cell or range that you want to reference indirectly. You can also use the INDIRECT function as a part of a larger formula, such as =SUM(INDIRECT(A1:A10)).
One common use of the indirect function is to create dynamic named ranges. A named range is a group of cells that have been given a descriptive name, which can be used in place of the cell references in a formula. For example, if you have a range of cells containing sales data and you want to create a named range called “Sales,” you could use the indirect function to create a formula such as =INDIRECT(A1). This formula would reference the cell in column A and row 1, which is the cell where you have entered the name “Sales.”
Another useful application of the indirect function is to create dynamic chart titles. If you have a chart that displays data from different regions or departments, you can use the indirect function to create a chart title that changes based on the data being displayed. For example, if you have a chart that displays data from different regions, you could use the indirect function to create a formula such as =”Sales data for “&INDIRECT(A1), where A1 contains the name of the region being displayed.
In addition to these applications, the indirect function can also be used to create dynamic data validation lists. Data validation is a feature in Excel that allows you to specify a list of values that a user can enter in a cell. For example, if you have a list of departments in column A, you could use the indirect function to create a data validation list in column B that only allows users to select a department from the list in column A.
To create a dynamic data validation list using the indirect function, you would first create a named range for the list of values in column A. For example, if the list of departments is in cells A1:A10, you could create a named range called “Departments” by selecting the cells and entering the name in the Name Box (located to the left of the formula bar).
Next, you would select the cells in column B where you want to apply the data validation, and then go to the Data tab and click on the Data Validation button. In the Data Validation dialog box, select “List” as the Validation Criteria and then enter the formula =INDIRECT(“Departments”) in the Source field. This will create a dynamic data validation list in column B that will always display the values in the “Departments” named range.
Another useful application of the indirect function is to create dynamic cell references in formulas. For example, if you have a large data set with multiple sheets and you want to create a formula that references cells in a specific sheet, you can use the indirect function to create a formula that changes based on the value of another cell.