# Using INDIRECT to dynamically reference a cell in Excel

If you have ever wanted to use text to reference a cell then you will be
interested to know how the `INDIRECT`

function in Excel can help you out.

## INDIRECT function

The `INDIRECT`

function accepts two parameters, but only one is required and
truthfully, you'll never use the second parameter. The parameter you will be
using is `ref_text`

. It is the reference to a cell as a text string.

## Examples

To give you an idea of how it works, take the following example spreadsheet:

### Example 1

`=INDIRECT("B5")`

will reference the cell at **B5**.

### Example 2

Say you type *'B1'* in cell **A1** and you enter the number *10* in cell **B1**.
In cell **C1** you enter the formula `=INDIRECT(A1)`

, the result will be the
number *10*. It works that way because `INDIRECT`

will take the text in cell A1
as the cell reference which in this case is *'B1'* and the value in cell **B1**
is *10*.

## Useful applications of INDIRECT

The most useful application for this function is when you want to build a cell
reference from text and/or numbers. For example, if you want to match values in
one list to another and then return the value in the cell adjacent to the search
list. Let's see how this would play out in **Figure 1**.

There is *List 1* and *List 2*. The values in column **A** and **B** have been
typed in. In column **D** the values are typed. The formula used in cell **E4**
is `=INDIRECT("B" & (MATCH(D4,A$4:A$7,0)+3))`

.

The formula looks for a match of the letter c (cell **D4**) in the list in
column **A** and returns it's relative location if it finds a match (I added 3
because the list starts at row 4). So the match function will return the
relative location and we want to know the value adjacent to that cell which is
in column **B**. Using `INDIRECT`

we can construct the cell reference by adding
the text `"B"`

and the result from the `MATCH`

function. It's that simple, just
use & to piece the parts together.