Are you tired of manually linking similar outputs from different tabs in an Excel model to a summary sheet? Many of you will have spent time doing this, wishing for a magic formula to complete the task quickly and accurately. I have some good news for you…one actually exists!

You can easily use “=INDIRECT” to create an automatic output sheet where you know the cell references on the source tabs that you want to link to.

Step 1 –Identify the cells that you want to link to on each sheet

e.g In the example below we want to link the contents of cells B12 and B13 to an output summary.

Expert tip – it is quicker and easier if each source tab has a similar layout so you are linking to the same cells on each of the source tabs. Excel Snippet 1 2 3

Step 2 – Create the summary sheet

This must include the both the tab names (company names) and the cell references from the other tabs that you want to link across to.

Excel Snippet 4

Step 3 – Write the formula

The formula is split into 4 components.

  1. Specify the indirect function
  2. Identify which sheet you want to link to
  3. Add an exclamation mark “!” which identifies that this is a cross sheet formula
  4. Add the reference of the cell that contains the cell reference from the source sheet

In the example the formula would be:

=INDIRECT(A2&”!”&B6)

Excel Snippet 5 Expert tip – Make sure the formula is copyable by using “$” to lock in the column letter for the company name and the row number for the reference cells:

=INDIRECT($A2&”!”&B$6)

Excel Snippet 6

A word of warning!

Since you are specifying that you want to link to a specific cell on the source sheets, this means that you cannot insert or remove rows or columns on any of the source sheets or you will then no longer be linking to the correct cell. e.g.

A row has been removed:

Excel Snippet 7

The summary sheet is now linking to the wrong cells:

Excel Snippet 8

To find out how to overcome this issue please leave a comment!