How to Reference Another Sheet in Excel with a Formula: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Reference Another Sheet in Excel with a Formula

Referencing another sheet in Excel is like setting up a direct line of communication between different parts of your worksheet. All you have to do is use a formula that points to the data on the other sheet. This quick guide will walk you through the steps needed to accomplish this task, ensuring your data stays connected and up-to-date.

How to Reference Another Sheet in Excel with a Formula

These steps will help you create a formula that references data from another sheet. You’ll be able to pull in values, perform calculations, and keep your data organized.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

First, open the Excel workbook where you want to reference the other sheet.

Make sure that the workbook contains both the source sheet (the sheet with the data you want to reference) and the destination sheet (the sheet where you will put your formula).

Step 2: Click on the Destination Cell

Second, click on the cell in your destination sheet where you want the referenced data to appear.

Selecting the correct cell is crucial as this is where your referenced data will be shown.

Step 3: Start Your Formula with an Equals Sign

Third, type an equals sign (=) in the destination cell to start your formula.

The equals sign signals to Excel that you are beginning a formula.

Step 4: Switch to the Source Sheet

Fourth, navigate to the source sheet by clicking on its tab at the bottom of the Excel window.

Switching to the source sheet lets you select the cell or range you want to reference.

Step 5: Select the Cell or Range to Reference

Fifth, click on the specific cell or range in the source sheet that you want to reference.

When selecting the cell or range, make sure it’s the exact data you need for your calculations or display.

Step 6: Finish the Formula with the Sheet Name and Cell Reference

Sixth, complete your formula by including the sheet name and cell reference, and then press Enter.

The formula should look something like this: =SheetName!CellReference. For example: =Sheet1!A1.

Step 7: Review and Adjust if Necessary

Finally, check the destination cell to ensure the referenced data appears correctly. Adjust if necessary.

If the data doesn’t appear as expected, double-check your formula for any typos or errors.

After completing these steps, the destination cell will display the data from the source sheet. Any changes made to the source data will automatically update in the destination cell.

Tips for Referencing Another Sheet in Excel with a Formula

  • Always double-check the sheet name and cell reference to avoid errors.
  • Use absolute references (e.g., $A$1) if you need the reference to stay fixed when copying the formula to other cells.
  • Keep sheet names short but descriptive to make your formulas easier to understand.
  • You can reference ranges and even entire columns, not just individual cells.
  • Utilize named ranges to make your formulas more readable and easier to manage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if the source sheet is renamed?

If the source sheet is renamed, Excel will automatically update your formula to reflect the new sheet name. No need to worry about broken references.

Can I reference multiple cells from another sheet at once?

Yes, you can reference multiple cells by selecting a range. Your formula will look something like =Sheet1!A1:C3.

What if I want to reference a cell from a different workbook?

You can reference another workbook by including the workbook name in your formula, like this: =[WorkbookName.xlsx]Sheet1!A1.

How do I fix a broken reference?

To fix a broken reference, simply double-click the cell with the formula, correct the sheet name or cell reference, and press Enter.

Will the referenced data update automatically?

Yes, any changes made in the source sheet will automatically update in the destination sheet without needing to refresh anything manually.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Click on the destination cell.
  3. Start your formula with an equals sign.
  4. Switch to the source sheet.
  5. Select the cell or range to reference.
  6. Finish the formula with the sheet name and cell reference.
  7. Review and adjust if necessary.


Referencing another sheet in Excel with a formula can save you loads of time and keep your data seamlessly connected. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that your workflow becomes more efficient and organized. It’s like having a reliable messenger that ensures information flows smoothly from one place to another.

If you’re ready to dive deeper, consider exploring more complex functions like VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, or even INDEX and MATCH to elevate your data referencing skills. These functions can provide more dynamic ways to pull and analyze data across sheets.

So, give these steps a try, and watch how your Excel skills can transform your data management game. Happy Excel-ing!

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