Excel 3D Reference (Table of Contents)
Introduction to 3D Reference in Excel
One of the greatest advantages of excel is its cell references within the same worksheet, or from one worksheet to another worksheet or even from one workbook to another workbook.
We are all familiar with cell references in excel; it is not a new thing to all the regular excel users.
What is 3D Reference in Excel?
3D references often called dimensional references in the analytical field. 3D references are taken as a cell reference of the same cell or same range from many worksheets are called as 3D references in Excel.
Now take a look at the difference between normal cell reference and 3D cell references in excel.
Now, look at both the formulas. In the first picture (Normal References), the SUM function is applied, and the same cell reference of cell B2 of sheets South, North, East, and West are summed by the SUM function.
=SUM (South! B2, North! B2, East! B2, West! B2)
Now, look at the 3D formula or reference in excel. The SUM function is applied, but the cell reference (B2) appears only once, unlike the normal reference where the cell reference (B2) appears 4 times. 3D references show how many sheets are involved here and show only the first and last sheet names and the same cell (B2) of those sheets.
=SUM (South: West! B2)
So 3D formulas or reference takes the same cell of the first sheet, last sheet, and the in-between sheet same cell reference. As I have explained, the formula only shows the first sheet, last sheet, and the cell references.
How to Use 3D Reference in Excel?
It is very simple and easy. Let’s understand the working of 3d reference with some examples.
Example #1 – Consolidate Excel Sheets Using 3D References or Formula
Our earlier article has already discussed how to use the in-built tool and consolidate to create a SUMMARY page. We can use 3D reference or formulas as an alternative to create a SUMMARY page in excel.
Consolidate function takes extra time to consolidate many sheets and also not a dynamic function if the link sheet option is not selected. But 3D formulas can be updated very quickly as it is not a time-consuming process.
I have 4 sheet sales values of 4 different regions.
Now I want to consolidate all the sheets into one sheet called the SUMMARY Sheet. For this, I have already created a template, as shown in the below sheet.
After creating a template sheet, follow the below steps to create 3D references or formulas in excel.
Step 1: Go to the SUMMARY Sheet and open the SUM formula in cell B2.
Step 2: Now go to the first sheet of 4 different region sheets, i.e. SOUTH sheet, and select the cell B2.
Step 3: Now, what you have to do is hold the SHIFT key and directly select the last sheet in the workbook, i.e. WEST sheet with your mouse.
Step 4: Now, you must see the formula like this in the formula bar.
Step 5: Hit the ENTER key to complete the 3D formula reference. You will see the formula like this in the SUMMARY sheet.
Step 6: Dragging the formula across the summary table by pressing the Ctrl+D key first and later Ctrl+R. We get the following result:
Example #2 – Include New Worksheet in 3D Formula
3D references or formulas are so flexible and expandable. In the previous example, we had 4 sheets to consolidate the data in a single sheet.
Assume we need to add one more sheet to our 3D formula or reference; how do we add to the existing 3D formula? If you are so confused about how to add, then follow the below steps to overcome that obstacle.
Step 1: Insert a new sheet to the workbook and rename it accordingly.
Step 2: After inserting the new sheet, place the newly inserted sheet in between the first and last sheet of the 3D reference sheets, i.e. after the SOUTH sheet and before the WEST sheet.
Step 3: Right now, there is no value in cell B2 in the newly inserted sheet. Enter some value to cell B2.
Step 4: Now go to SUMMARY Sheet and check the value in the B2 cell. It should be showing the new value, including the value of the newly inserted sheet value.
Yes!!!! It is working fine. Value has changed in the SUMMARY Sheet.
Things to Remember about 3D Reference in Excel
- In order to create a 3D reference, all the fields across sheets should be the same in excel.
- Some of the functions which support 3D formulas are MAX, MIN, AVERAGE, PRODUCT, SUM, etc.…
- If the newly inserted sheet is moved to the in-between sheet of the 3D references sheets, it will automatically take that sheet as part of the 3D formula and change the values accordingly.
- Similarly, if the existing sheet is moved out of the first and last sheet, it will exclude that value from the 3D formula.
This has been a guide to 3D Reference in Excel. Here we discuss using 3D Reference in Excel and practical examples, and a downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –