Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Indirect References to a DSUM Parameter.

Indirect References to a DSUM Parameter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2019)

Octavio has a worksheet that has a lot of named ranges in it. In one section of his worksheet he has a list of those names. In a formula that uses the DSUM function, Octavio wants to use different cells in this list to refer to the actual "database" that is used by the function. For instance, if "February11" is a named range and cell F12 contains the text "February11," Octavio wants to specify F12 as the first parameter in the DSUM function and have it get the actual range. When he tries the following, where Criteria is a named range for the summation criteria, he gets an error:

=DSUM(F12, "Profit", Criteria)

The solution to this is to use, instead of the actual cell address, the results of the INDIRECT function. This function grabs whatever is in the cell it references and uses that content as a "pointer" to another cell or range. Thus, if cell F12 contains the text "February11", the following two formulas provide the exact same result:

=DSUM(INDIRECT(F12), "Profit", Criteria)
=DSUM(February11, "Profit", Criteria)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (5664) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Indirect References to a DSUM Parameter.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Page Number Formatting Changes to Stick

Placing a page number into your document can be easy. Getting that page number to look the way you want it to can be more ...

Discover More

Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts

Do you find yourself frequently creating text boxes and callouts? This tip describes how to change the default settings ...

Discover More

Word Won't Maximize

Sometimes, for whatever reason, your computer might not display Word or other programs properly. There are a few things ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Using the FORECAST Function

Excel provides a handy worksheet function that allows you to forecast values based upon a set of known values. This ...

Discover More

Returning the Left-most Characters

When working with text in a formula, you may need to extract the left-most characters from a string of text or from a ...

Discover More

Returning Values to the Left of a VLOOKUP

VLOOKUP is a great function to use in accessing data based on a lookup value. Problem is, you can't easily return ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.