# Excel OFFSET Function: How to Use with Static and Dynamic Ranges

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the basics of the OFFSET function and how to use it in different scenarios, such as creating dynamic ranges or returning the last value in a column.

The OFFSET function in Excel is a lookup and reference function that returns a reference to a range of cells based on a starting cell and a specified number of rows and columns to offset from the starting cell.

The syntax for the OFFSET function is:

OFFSET(reference, rows, cols, [height], [width])

Where:

• reference” is the starting cell or range of cells
• rows” is the number of rows to offset from the starting cell
• cols” is the number of columns to offset from the starting cell
• height” is an optional argument that specifies the height (number of rows) of the returned range
• width” is an optional argument that specifies the width (number of columns) of the returned range

Here’s a step-by-step guide on using the OFFSET function with static ranges:

1. Type =OFFSET( in the cell where you want to display the result.
2. Choose the reference cell or range of cells. For example, A1, and add a comma.
3. Specify the number of rows to offset from the reference cell. For example, 0, meaning the reference cell is the first row.
4. Specify the number of columns to offset from the reference cell. For example, 1, meaning the reference cell is the first column.
5. Specify the height of the returned range, if desired. For example, 3, meaning the returned range has 3 rows.
6. Specify the width of the returned range, if desired. For example, 2, meaning the returned range has 2 columns.
7. Close the function by adding a closing parenthesis “)”
8. Press Enter to finish the calculation.

In the example above, the function tells Excel that from cell A1, move two cells down and then two cells to the right. The result should be the value from cell C3.

In the same example above, let’s say we want the function to automatically retrieve the value that corresponds to a specific name and a specific category (A, B, and C). We can do this in conjunction with the MATCH function to achieve the desired result.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on using the OFFSET function with dynamic ranges:

1. Type =OFFSET( in the cell where you want to display the result.
2. Choose the reference cell or range of cells. For example, A1, and add a comma.
3. Use the MATCH function to dynamically find the number of rows to offset from the reference cell. For example: MATCH(G3,A2:A6,0), where G3 is the lookup value, A2:A6 is the lookup range, and 0 specifies an exact match.
4. Use the MATCH function to dynamically find the number of columns to offset from the reference cell. For example: MATCH(G4,B1:D1,0), where G4 is the lookup value, B1:D1 is the lookup range, and 0 specifies an exact match.
5. Specify the height of the returned range, if desired. For example, 1, meaning the returned range has 1 row.
6. Specify the width of the returned range, if desired. For example, 1, meaning the returned range has 1 column.
7. Close the function by adding a closing parenthesis “)”.
8. Press Enter to finish the calculation.

In this example, this tells Excel to return a dynamic reference to a single cell that is found by matching the values in cells G3 and G4 to the ranges A2:A6 and B1:D1, respectively, and then offsetting the starting cell A1 by the number of rows and columns specified by the MATCH functions.

## Conclusion

The OFFSET function is a versatile and useful tool in Excel that allows you to return a reference to a cell or range of cells based on an offset from a starting cell. The OFFSET function can be used with either static or dynamic ranges, and its flexibility makes it a great choice for a wide range of calculations and data manipulations. Understanding the syntax and how to use the OFFSET function with both static and dynamic ranges is a valuable skill for anyone working with data in Excel.