The excel **OFFSET** function can be used to get the reference to a cell or cell range from the starting point ( cell ). It is very useful when you use it correctly. This article will tell you how to use it with some examples.

### 1. Excel OFFSET Function Introduction.

- The
**OFFSET**function has the below syntax.OFFSET(reference, rows, cols, [height], [width])

- The first argument
**referenceÂ**is the starting cell address such as**A1**. - The second argument
**rowsÂ**are the number of rows that offset from the starting cell. - If the
**rows**argument is a**positive number**then it means to move down, if the rows argument is a**negative number**then it means to move up. - The third argument
**cols**are the number of columns that offset from the starting cell. - If the
**cols**argument is a**positive number**then it means to move to the right, if the**cols**argument is a**negative number**then it means to move to the left. - With the above 3 arguments, you can get the reference of the target cell range’s top-left cell.
- The fourth argument
**height**is the target returned cell range rows number if provided. - The fifth argument
**width**is the target returned cell range columns number if provided. - The excel
**OFFSET**function can only return the referenced cell range, it can not move the cells. - The first argument of the
**OFFSET**function should be one cell or adjacent cells, if not the function will return the**#VALUE!**error text. - If the returned reference cell range is over the excel spreadsheet’s edge, you will get the
**#REF!**error text.

### 2. How To Use Offset Function In Excel Example.

- In the below table, if you want to get the reference to cell range
**C3:D4**from the starting cell**A1**, you can input the formula**=OFFSET(A1,2,2,2,2)**in any cell.

- The
**rows**and**cols**argument value can be a positive or a negative number. - When the
**rows**and**cols**argument is a negative number, then it means offset to up rows and left columns from the starting cell. - For example,
**OFFSET(D3,-2,-3)**will return the reference to cell**A1**.

### 3. How To Offset From The Current Active Cell.

- You can use the formula
**=OFFSET(INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN())),1,-1)**to offset from the current active cell. - The
**ROW**function returns the currently active cell row number. - The
**COLUMN**function returns the currently active cell column number. - The
**ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN())**function returns the currently active cell address text. - The
**INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN()))Â**function returns the currently active cell object reference. - And finally, the
**=OFFSET(INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN())),1,-1)Â**formula can return the cell offset 1 row down and 1 column left to the currently active cell.