3D Reference in Excel

What are 3D references in excel?


Imagine that you have to get the sum of range A2:A10 of 5 multiple sheets in one formula. In that case, you need a formula that not only sums the given range but sums all ranges in given sheets. Here, you need a 3D referencing of excel.

A 3D reference in Excel is the reference that covers identical ranges in multiple sheets. One example is (sheet1:sheet5!A2:A10).

Generic formula to sum a 3D range:

=SUM(start_sheet:end_sheet! range)

start_sheet: This is the name of the first sheet from which you want to start the sum.

end_sheet:  This is the name of the end sheet. This sheet must not come before the first sheet in the arrangement. The formula will include only the sheets between start_sheet and end_date.

range: It is the range that you want to sum from all the given sheets.

Let's see a 3d reference of excel in action to learn how to use it.

Example: Sum the same range from different sheets using 3-d references in excel

In this example, I have five different sheets that contain similar data. Each sheet contains a month's data. In Sheet6, I want the sum of units, cost, and collection from all the sheets. Let's do it for Units first. The units are in range D2:D14 in all the sheets. Using the 3D referencing of excel write this formula:


This returns the value 1384. You can check if it is correct by manually summing all the sheets.

Write similar formulas for each variable.

Note: The 3D referencing can be used where the reference is fixed. It does not work with SUMIF function. We have another workaround for 3D SUMIF.

How does it work?

This formula works in one shot. There are no steps. I guess that the excel loop through each sheet and looks at the same reference to do the calculation.

So yeah guys, this 3D referencing in excel. You can use it where you have fixed cells and formats that don't change their location on the sheet. I hope I was explanatory enough. If you have any query or input to this article or any other Excel/VBA related, put it in the comments section below. We will appreciate it.

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