OFFSET in Excel

 

The OFFSET function in Excel returns a cell or range of cells that is a specified number of rows and columns from a cell or range of cells.

1. The OFFSET function below returns the cell that is 3 rows below and 2 columns to the right of cell A2. The OFFSET function returns a cell because the height and width are both set to 1.

Offset Cell Example

Result:

Offset Cell Result

2. The OFFSET function below returns the 1 x 2 range that is 8 rows below and 1 column to the right of cell A2. The SUM function calculates the sum of this range.

Offset Range Example

Result:

Offset Range Result

The last 2 arguments of the OFFSET function are optional. When height and width are omitted, the new reference has the same height and width as the starting reference (first argument). As always, we will use easy examples to make things more clear.

3. The OFFSET function below returns the cell that is 12 rows below and 0 columns to the right of cell A2.

Height and Width Omitted

Result:

Simple OFFSET function

4. The OFFSET function below returns the range that is 4 rows below and 0 columns to the right of the range B2:C2. The SUM function calculates the sum of this range.

Range as Starting Point

Result:

SUM OFFSET formula

5. The OFFSET function below returns the range that is 4 rows below and 0 columns to the right of the range B2:C2. This time without a SUM function.

OFFSET as Array Formula Example

Result:

OFFSET as Array Formula Result

Note: before inserting this formula, select the range E12:F12 (or another range of the same size). Finish by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER. The formula bar indicates that this is an array formula by enclosing it in curly braces {}. To delete this array formula, select the range E12:F12 and press Delete.

6. If you have Excel 365 or Excel 2021, simply select cell E12, enter the OFFSET function and press Enter. Bye bye curly braces.

Dynamic Array Formula

Note: the OFFSET function, entered into cell E12, fills multiple cells. Wow! This behavior in Excel 365/2021 is called spilling. Finally, if you want to return a cell or range of cells that is a specified number of rows above or columns to the left, enter a negative number.