## How to use the ISREF function

**What is the ISREF function?**

The ISREF function returns boolean value TRUE if value refers to a reference.

**What is a cell reference?**

A cell reference lets you "fetch" and use values in other cells in a formula.

There are two types of cell references:

- A1-style reference
- R1C1 reference

The A1-style reference is the default style in Excel, it names columns by letters from A to Z. After Z it starts over with AA, AB, and so on until XFD. Rows are numbered from 1 to 1048576, older Excel versions use less row numbers.

The R1C1-style uses row number and column number like: R1C1, R2C5 and R10C15. Rows are labeled R1, R2, R3 and so on, columns are labeled C1, C2, C3 etc.

The A1-style reference notation is the most common one, here are some examples:

A1 - single cell reference on the same worksheet

A1:D5 - reference to a cell range on the same worksheet

Budget!Z3 - a single cell reference to worksheet Budget

'Budget 2050'!A3 - a single cell reference to a worksheet containing a space character

There are two types of cell references:

- Relative cell references
- Absolute cell references

The examples above are all relative cell references, they change accordingly if a cell is copied and pasted to another cell which absolute cell references do not.

The $ dollar character lets you an absolute cell reference meaning you can lock a cell reference horizontally, vertically or both. Here is one example:

A$1 has a relative column reference but an absolute row reference, this means that the column letter may change if the cell is copied and pasted to cells in another column than A.

**What is a Boolean value?**

A Boolean value in Excel is a value that can only be TRUE or FALSE. It represents binary logic and is the result of a logical expression using logical operators. There are some functions that also return TRUE or FALSE and the ISREF function is one of them.

**Why check if a cell reference is valid?**

The ISREF function lets you catch reference errors in formulas. You can also use it check if a named range exists, see the example below.

**Other related functions**

Excel Function and Arguments | Description |
---|---|

INDIRECT(ref_text, [a1]) | Returns reference specified by text in cell |

OFFSET(reference, rows, cols, [height], [width]) | Returns cell offset from reference cell |

INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num]) | Returns value in array based on indices |

SHEET(value) | Returns sheet number for given reference |

SHEETS(index) | Returns sheet name based on index |

ADDRESS(row, column, [abs], [a1], [sheet]) | Returns cell address text |

### ISREF function Syntax

ISREF(*value*)

### ISREF function Arguments

value |
Required. The value you want to check for a reference. |

### ISREF function example

Formula in cell C3:

### ISREF function - check if named range exists

The following formula checks if the named range "Revenue" exists in you workbook.

### ISREF function not working

The ISREF function returns boolean value FALSE if the cell reference is enclosed in double quotes.

### Functions in 'Information' category

The ISREF function function is one of many functions in the 'Information' category.

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