The ISREF Function is categorized under Excel Information functions. The function will test if a given value is a reference or not. If the given value is a reference, it will return TRUE. Otherwise, it will return FALSE.
In financial analysis, let’s assume we need to create 21 worksheets in a workbook. All 21 worksheets must be assigned a name. Hence, to avoid missing a sheet, we can use ISREF and keep track of them.
The ISREF function uses only one argument:
Values (required argument) – This is the given value or expression that we wish to test.
How to use the ISREF Function in Excel?
As a worksheet function, ISREF can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet.
Let’s see a few examples to understand how this function works:
We get the results below:
In cell B9, we provided expression A1*A2, which would return a value that is a product of the values in two cells. Hence, in this case, the ISREF function will return FALSE.
Let’s now see how to test if a worksheet name exists in the workbook. To do that, we can use a formula that is based on the ISREF and INDIRECT functions. Suppose we want to find out if the following worksheets exist or not:
The formula used is =ISREF(INDIRECT(“sheetname”&”!A1″)), as shown below:
We get the following results:
The ISREF function used here will return TRUE for a valid worksheet reference and FALSE if the reference is invalid.
In this case, as we want to find out if a particular sheet exists in a workbook or not, we construct a full reference by concatenating the sheet names in column B with an exclamation mark and “A1”:
The formula returns the text: “Example1!A1!” The text goes into the INDIRECT function. INDIRECT then tries to evaluate the text as a reference.
When INDIRECT succeeds, the reference is passed into ISREF, which returns TRUE. When INDIRECT can’t create a reference, it throws a #REF error, and ISREF returns FALSE.
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