Learn to use INDIRECT with VLOOKUP in Excel (Formula)

Last Updated: March 24, 2024

- Written by Puneet

If you want to use VLOOKUP and the data you want to look up is in different sheets, you can combine it with the INDIRECT. It helps you to define multiple ranges in a single formula.


In the above example, we have month-wise data in three different worksheets. But with a single VLOOKUP + INDIRECT, you can get quantity for all the products from all the months from multiple sheets.


To understand this formula, you need to split it into two parts:

In the first part, we have the INDIRECT function, which creates a reference to the sheet by using the name from row 1. In the example below, we reference the sheet Jan’s range A:B.


You need to create a structure within the INDIRECT to reference the sheet with the name and the range where you have the data.


Once you move the formula to the Feb column, the reference in the INDIRECT changes to the sheet Feb.


In the second part, VLOOKUP uses the table range address returned by the INDIRECT and gets its values according to the col_index_num specified in the range.

Important Point

In the above formula, you need the right structure to reference a range with the sheet name. If you enter the below structure in the INDIRECT:


It will return:


Alternative Method

INDIRECT is a Volatile function. It updates itself when there’s any change in the worksheet. That’s why you can consider using CHOOSE. For example, with CHOOSE, you can write three formulas using VLOOKUP.


In this formula, as I said, we have three VLOOKUPs, and when with the CHOOSE, you can decide to get the result from any of the VLOOKUPs


In the CHOOSE, we have referred to the B1; in Row 1, you have index numbers to use to get the formula value from the CHOOSE.

For example, when you have 2, CHOOSE will return the value for the second VLOOKUP; from the third, there are 3.


Download Sample File