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How to reference worksheet by index number instead of name in Excel?

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2020-07-02

For many Excel users, they tend to habitually rename the default worksheet name to their needed one. But in many cases, they need to reference the worksheet based on its index number rather than its real name. How to achieve it? You can try the method in the article.

Reference worksheet by index number instead of name with User-defined function


Reference worksheet by index number instead of name with User-defined function

Please do as follows to reference worksheet by index number instead of name in Excel.

1. Press Alt + F11 keys simultaneously to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, click Insert > Module. Then copy and paste the below VBA code into the Module window.

VBA code: Reference worksheet by index number in Excel

Function SHEETNAME(number As Long) As String
    SHEETNAME = Sheets(number).Name
End Function

3. Press the Alt + Q keys to close the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

Notes:

1. If you need to reference a certain sheet name with its number, please select a blank cell, and enter formula =SHEETNAME(1) directly into the Formula Bar, then press the Enter key. See screenshot:

2. If you want to get a cell value from a worksheet based on its index number, please use this formula.

=INDIRECT("'"&SHEETNAME(1) &"'!A1")

3. And if you want to sum a certain column in a worksheet based on its index number, please apply this formula.

=SUM(INDIRECT("'"&SHEETNAME(1) &"'!C2:C7"))


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Comments (4)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I've successfully implemented the above VBA and formulas. I'm trying to add an additional function. I would like to SUM the same cells across all sheets (created and not yet created) using the above SHEETNAME VBA, but I can seem to figure out how to assemble the formula to make it work. Any ideas? I've tried the following and minor variants, but excel no longer thinks it a formula. =SUM(INDIRECT("'"&SHEETNAME(4) &"'!R7":"'"&SHEETNAME(5) &"'!R7"))
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
If you use this UDF, I'd suggest Making two changes in bold below, with notes on why.
Function SHEETNAME(number As Long) As StringApplication.Volatile <--------- this makes the function recalculate when you change the sheets name. Otherwise when you change the sheet name it doesn't change unless you perform a manual recalculation.----------
SHEETNAME = Thisworkbook.Sheets(number).Name <------ If you use this function in multiple workbooks, it will only check names of the workbook the function is in. Otherwise this function will potentially call the tab names from other open Workbooks with this formula.-------
End Function
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you very much for the script and the additions! Exactly what I was looking for without any prior knowledge about VBAs.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Nice solution. Also, referencing cell B4 of the first sheet in another Excel file can be done like this: =INDIRECT("'[other_filename.xlsx]"&SHEETNAME(1) &"'!B4") However note that the file containing the VBA script needs to be stored as a macro file, .xlsm Cheers,
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