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Google Sheets Dynamic Cell Reference (How to Use It in 2024)‍

May 8, 2024

Google Sheets Dynamic Cell Reference

Google Sheets dynamic cell reference uses the INDIRECT function to refer to cells or ranges that adjust automatically based on conditions. This technique boosts spreadsheet flexibility by enabling formulas to adapt to new data or structural changes without manual updates. It simplifies data management by making formulas responsive to data variations.

INDIRECT function Basic Syntax

Here is the basic syntax of the INDIRECT function:

INDIRECT(cell_reference_as_string, [is_A1_notation])

  • cell_reference_as_string: A text string that INDIRECT interprets as a cell reference. It can be in A1 notation (e.g., "A1" for the cell at column A, row 1) or R1C1 notation (e.g., "R1C1" for the same cell), influenced by the optional second argument. This string can dynamically include other strings, cell values, and functions.

  • [is_A1_notation]: An optional argument indicating the notation type. If TRUE or omitted, A1 notation is assumed. If FALSE, R1C1 notation is used.

How to Use Dynamic Cell Reference in Google Sheets

Follow the steps below to set up dynamic cell reference in Google Sheets using the ‘INDIRECT’ function. 

1. Select the Cell to Dynamically Reference

Identify and decide on the specific cell or range, like cell A1, that you plan to reference dynamically in your Google Sheets.

google sheets dynamic cell reference

2. Designate a Cell for Dynamic Reference Input

Choose a specific cell, such as B4, to input the dynamic reference, like "A1", controlling which cell or range INDIRECT will reference.

dynamic cell reference google sheets

3. Implement the INDIRECT Function for Dynamic Referencing

In a separate cell, enter the INDIRECT function with your reference cell as its argument, e.g., =INDIRECT(B4) in cell C4, to dynamically fetch and display the value from A1.

google sheets dynamic cell reference

4. Verify Dynamic Referencing by Changing the Reference

Alter the input in your designated reference cell (B4) to a new target, such as "C1", and watch as the cell with the INDIRECT function (C4) updates to reflect the new reference's value.

dynamic cell reference google sheets

5. Explore INDIRECT for Advanced Dynamic Referencing

Leverage the INDIRECT function beyond simple cell references to manage more complex scenarios like dynamic ranges or interactive drop-down lists within your dataset.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of how to set up Google Sheets dynamic cell reference. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on how to get dividend yield in Google Sheets and how to sort by month in Google Sheets.

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