Follow Up INDIRECT: How to Easily Evaluate INDIRECT Functions

INDIRECT functions are often a bit complicated to follow up. They can be useful, especially for referring to different sheets but not easily to evaluate. Here are three methods to follow up INDIRECT functions in Excel.

Method 1: Use the INDIRECT manager to follow up INDIRECT function

The first method is most convenient. Our Excel add-in Professor Excel Tools has a built-in INDIRECT manager. Just select the cell you want to evaluate and click on the small arrow next to “Follow Precedents” on the Professor Excel ribbon (highlighted in yellow below).

Easily follow up INDIRECT functions with Professor Excel Tools.
Easily follow up INDIRECT functions with Professor Excel Tools.

Then, click on INDIRECT Manager and you will see the window like in the screenshot above. For every INDIRECT function in the currently selected cell you will see the original function as well as the evaluated result. You can then select one of the functions and click on “Go to selected cells”.

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Method 2: Convert reference to value by pressing F9

The second method is quite simple and works not only with INDIRECT, but all formulas and functions in Excel.

Press F9 on the keyboard to see the values of the INDIRECT function.
Press F9 on the keyboard to see the values of the INDIRECT function.
  1. Select a cell with an INDIRECT function.
  2. Press F2 on the keyboard to enter the cell.
  3. Select the arguments of the INDIRECT function with the mouse (or keyboard, if you prefer).
  4. Press F9 on the keyboard. Excel now converts the INDIRECT function to the final cell reference.
  5. Press Esc on the keyboard to leave the cell and discard the conversion to values.

Method 3: Use the evaluate Formula feature in Excel to follow up INDIRECT function

The last method is the Evaluate Formulas feature in Excel. This method also works for all kinds of formulas.

Follow up INDIRECT function with the "Evaluate Formula" feature in Excel
Follow up INDIRECT function with the “Evaluate Formula” feature in Excel
  1. Like in all the other methods above, select the cell first (here: C19).
  2. Click on Evaluate Formula on the Formulas ribbon.
  3. Now you can navigate through the formula by clicking “Evaluate”

Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Henrik Schiffner is a freelance business consultant and software developer. He lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. Besides being an Excel enthusiast he loves photography and sports.

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