In MS Excel 2013, when I write


It is okay, but when I write


It results in error. I would like to access the contents of an address. I have done it before, but forgot for the moment.

Correcting this idea or another idea both would be welcome.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

When you enter =CELL("contents",ADDRESS(1,2)) you are expecting Excel to evaluate that expression to =CELL("contents",$B$1).

This isn't quite what Excel does. Excel will read it as =CELL("contents","$B$1"). Note the quotes - Excel thinks this is a string, not a cell reference. This is why you get an error.

To convert the string output of ADDRESS() to a cell ref you can adjust your formula slightly like this:


The INDIRECT() function simply converts your string into a real cell reference Excel can use.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.