Quick, clean, and to the point

Dynamic reference Table name

Excel formula: Dynamic reference Table name
Generic formula 

To build a formula with a dynamic reference to an Excel Table name, you can use the INDIRECT function with concatenation as needed. In the example shown, the formula in L5 is:


Which returns the SUM of Amounts for three tables named "West", "Central", and "East".

How this formula works

This formula behaves like these simpler formulas:


However, instead of hardcoding the table into each SUM formula, the table names are listed in column K, and the formulas in column L use concatenation to assemble a reference to each table. This allows the same formula to be used in L5:L7.

The trick is the INDIRECT function to evaluate the reference. We start with:


which becomes:


and then:


The INDIRECT function then resolves the text string into a proper structured reference:


And the SUM function returns the final result, 27,500 for the West region.

Note: INDIRECT is a volatile function and can cause performance issues in larger, more complex workbooks.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

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