Excel Hacks: How To Get The Cell Address Instead Of Value

Are you tired of spending hours searching for a specific cell address in your Excel spreadsheet? Do you find it challenging to differentiate between values and their corresponding cell addresses?

I understand your pain, and I have a solution for you! 

In this article, I’ll guide you through a simple method to retrieve the cell address of any value in Excel. You’ll learn how to use Excel functions such as INDEX, MATCH, and CELL to make your work easier and more efficient.

With practical examples to reinforce your understanding, you’ll be able to implement these techniques in your own projects in no time. Your Excel skills are about to level up, let’s get going!

Understanding Cell Address And Values

Imagine that you have a dataset, and you want to find the address of a particular value. By default, Excel returns the value, but sometimes you need the cell’s position. You can quickly obtain the cell address in Excel using the ADDRESS function.

Cell addresses consist of a column letter and a row number, like “A1” or “B3”. In contrast, cell values are the actual data stored in cells – like sales figures or names.

The ADDRESS function syntax appears as follows:

=ADDRESS(row_num, column_num, [abs_num], [a1], [sheet_text])

Here, row_num and column_num are the cell’s row and column numbers, while the optional abs_num, [a1], and [sheet_text] arguments allow for specifying the reference type.

Remember, the ADDRESS function will always return the cell address as a text value.

Using The Cell Function

In this section, you’ll learn how to get the cell address instead of the cell value using the CELL function in Excel.

Syntax And Parameters

Before diving into the examples, let’s quickly go over the syntax for the CELL function. It looks like this:

=CELL("address", cell_reference)
  • “address” specifies that we want to return the cell address
  • cell_reference refers to the cell you want to find the address of

With this simple function, you can quickly get any cell address without manually searching for it.

Examples And Use Cases

Now that you understand the syntax, let’s look at some examples to help you in various scenarios.

Imagine you have a list of product prices and want to find the cell address of the lowest price. First, you could use the MIN function to find the lowest price, and then combine it with CELL, INDEX, and MATCH functions to get the cell address:

=CELL("address", INDEX(A1:A10, MATCH(MIN(A1:A10), A1:A10, 0), 0))
  • A1:A10 is the range of prices you want to analyze
  • MIN(A1:A10) finds the lowest price in the range
  • MATCH and INDEX functions help you find the corresponding cell
Cell Address example

Now you can easily locate the best deal, and you didn’t even work up a sweat!

Want to make it more dynamic? Use relative cell references by changing the ADDRESS formula:

=ADDRESS(ROW(cell_reference), COLUMN(cell_reference), 4)
  • ROW and COLUMN functions help you find the row and column number of the cell, and 4 in the last parameter returns the relative address.

In just a few simple steps, you’ve learned how to use the CELL function to get cell addresses in Excel. This will make your life easier and your spreadsheet tasks more efficient. Happy Excel-ing!

Working With Named Ranges

Named ranges in Excel are a convenient way to refer to a group of cells with a single name. It helps you manage and organize data more effectively. Let’s start by creating a named range.

First, select the cell range you want to name. Next, type a name in the Name Box, press Enter, and voila, your named range is created.

To test it, simply choose the name from the dropdown, and Excel will highlight the range on your worksheet.

Name Range example

Once you have a named range, the ADDRESS function can help you find the cell address of a specific cell. It takes the row and the column number, and returns the cell address. To get the cell reference of the first cell in a named range, combine the ADDRESS function with ROW and COLUMN functions:


That’s it! With these simple steps, you can now easily get the cell address of any value within a named range in Excel.

Leveraging The Indirect Function

In this section, you’ll learn to harness the power of Excel’s INDIRECT function to get cell addresses.

Syntax And Parameters

Before we dive into examples, let’s understand the INDIRECT function’s syntax and its parameters. Here’s the basic structure of the INDIRECT function:

=INDIRECT(ref_text, [a1])
  • ref_text (required): The cell reference, specified as a text string
  • a1 (optional): A logical value that specifies reference style: TRUE for A1 style (default) and FALSE for R1C1 style

Examples And Use Cases

Now let’s see how you can use the INDIRECT function in real-life scenarios.

  1. Referencing another cell’s value: Suppose you have a number 10 in cell B4 and text “B4” in cell D1. You can use the formula =INDIRECT(D1) in another cell to get the value of cell B4, which is 10.
Indirect Example
  1. Creating dynamic ranges: If you have a range of cells with values and want to sum these values, you can use the INDIRECT function to create a dynamic range. For example, if the starting cell is A1 and the ending cell address is in B1, you can write the formula =SUM(INDIRECT(“A1:”&B3)) to sum the values in a dynamic range.
Indirect Example 2

Caution With Indirect Formula

While the INDIRECT function can be incredibly useful, it’s essential to be aware of its limitations.

  • Volatile function: The INDIRECT function is volatile, which means it recalculates every time any change is made in the worksheet. This causes performance issues in large or complex worksheets
  • Errors: If the INDIRECT formula refers to a non-existent cell or the input is invalid, it returns a #REF! error

Tips For Efficiently Addressing Cells

Combining With Other Formulas

You can use the CELL function combined with XLOOKUP, INDEX, or MATCH to obtain the cell address.

For instance, =CELL(“address”, XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array)) gives you the address of the lookup result.

Additionally, to speed up working with cell references, use F4 shortcut key to toggle between absolute and relative references when creating formulas.

For example, if you type =A1 in a cell and press F4, Excel changes it to =$A$1, which is an absolute reference that doesn’t change when copied.

Practice regularly and keep exploring different Excel functions. Playing with different data sets and functions helps you improve addressing cells efficiently and make the most of this versatile tool.

Organizing Your Data

Organizing your data effectively is essential.

Consider using tables and named ranges, which make it easier to reference cells and can lead to more understandable formulas. A structured reference might look like this: Table1[@[Column1]].

When dealing with multiple sheets, use three-dimensional references. They allow you to reference the same cell across different sheets.

The syntax would look like this: Sheet1:Sheet3!A1, which refers to cell A1 in all sheets between Sheet1 and Sheet3.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Combination Of Index And Match To Find The Cell Address?

Yes, by nesting MATCH within the CELL function alongside INDEX, you can find the cell address that contains a specific value you’re looking for.

Is It Possible To Retrieve The Cell Address Of A Value In A Different Worksheet In Excel?

Yes, you can retrieve the cell address of a value in a different worksheet in Excel by using the INDIRECT function.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!

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