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# So you get targeted records by S-reference and

W-reference out of Excel

If you have created a table with many records in Excel, you may eventually come to a point where certain records should be automatically retrieved from this table and pasted into another table to get a better overview.

So what to do?

Of course you have the possibility to create one or more stand-alone tables with the Pivot function, and of course have a great variety of filter options at the same time.

But sometimes it does not work the way you had imagined. And this is exactly where the functions *S-reference and W-reference* come into play.

How these two variants work and how to use them I would like to shed some light on in this article.

# So you get targeted records by S-reference and W-reference out of Excel

If you have created a table with many records in Excel, you may eventually come to a point where certain records should be automatically retrieved from this table and pasted into another table to get a better overview.

So what to do?

Of course you have the possibility to create one or more stand-alone tables with the Pivot function, and of course have a great variety of filter options at the same time.

But sometimes it does not work the way you had imagined. And this is exactly where the functions *S-reference and W-reference* come into play.

How these two variants work and how to use them I would like to shed some light on in this article.

# 1. Definition S-reference and W-reference

# 1. Definition S-reference and W-reference

In general we first clarify the definition of the S-reference and the W-reference.

**The S-reference:**

The *“S”* stands for “vertical” and describes the search direction in which Excel searches for a specific term.

What does this mean in columns for a term is searched, and if this is found is searched in the appropriate line to determine the coordinate.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

**The W reference:**

The *“W”* stands for *“horizontal”* and also describes the search direction in which Excel searches for a specific term.

Only here is not determined first in columns but in lines for a specific term to determine the coordinate.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

In general we first clarify the definition of the S-reference and the W-reference.

**The S-reference:**

The *“S”* stands for “vertical” and describes the search direction in which Excel searches for a specific term.

What does this mean in columns for a term is searched, and if this is found is searched in the appropriate line to determine the coordinate.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

**The W reference:**

The *“W”* stands for *“horizontal”* and also describes the search direction in which Excel searches for a specific term.

Only here is not determined first in columns but in lines for a specific term to determine the coordinate.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

# 2. Procedure S-reference

# 2. Procedure S-reference

To make the whole thing a bit more plastic, let’s assume that we want to build an invoice template in Excel, but do not want to have to enter all the recipient data (name, street, city) each time.

Then we should start by creating a suitable table with customer master data that will later serve as the data source for our S reference. Of course, next we need the destination (our invoice template).

In the invoice later after entering the customer number, the recipient address should be filled automatically.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

For the automated filling of the receiver head to work, we now have to build several S references that all use the same source but need different coordinates to output the correct data set.

The first entry: ** first name**

We click in the cell “First name” and start by entering the formula as follows:

**=SVERWEIS(**

- After this input, Excel will already tell us which information is needed first. This is the
**search criteria.**Here we have to click on the cell in which we will later enter our customer number.

What does this mean Excel will search for exactly what is entered there in the data source.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

Next, Excel asks for the **matrix** which is nothing but the table area in which to search for the **search criterion** (our customer number).

In our example, we can easily mark the entire table with our customer master data.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

**Be sure to remember all the arguments in the formula are each with a semicolon; to separate.**

The next step asks for the column index.

Here is simply counted. And in the wievielt column of the previously marked table (not the entire worksheet!) Is to be searched for the entry in the field “**first name**” should.

In our example, it is the third column (in which the first names are). Thus, we simply enter a **3** here.

The last part of our S-reference is not entirely unimportant, because here we are asking for **true = 1** or **false = 0**.

This is a bit confusing at first, but ultimately means nothing else if Excel should search for exactly the search criterion (as it was entered), or whether it may be similar.

For our example, of course, we are looking for exactly the name entered, and not one that is similar.

So we enter a “**0**“.

Our finished S-reference for the first field “**first name**” should look like this.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

To make the whole thing a bit more plastic, let’s assume that we want to build an invoice template in Excel, but do not want to have to enter all the recipient data (name, street, city) each time.

Then we should start by creating a suitable table with customer master data that will later serve as the data source for our S reference. Of course, next we need the destination (our invoice template).

In the invoice later after entering the customer number, the recipient address should be filled automatically.

*see picture:
*

For the automated filling of the receiver head to work, we now have to build several S references that all use the same source but need different coordinates to output the correct data set.

The first entry: ** first name**

We click in the cell “First name” and start by entering the formula as follows:

**=SVERWEIS(**

- After this input, Excel will already tell us which information is needed first. This is the
**search criteria.**Here we have to click on the cell in which we will later enter our customer number.

What does this mean Excel will search for exactly what is entered there in the data source.

*see picture:*

Next, Excel asks for the **matrix** which is nothing but the table area in which to search for the **search criterion** (our customer number).

In our example, we can easily mark the entire table with our customer master data.

*see picture:*

**Be sure to remember all the arguments in the formula are each with a semicolon; to separate.**

The next step asks for the column index.

Here is simply counted. And in the wievielt column of the previously marked table (not the entire worksheet!) Is to be searched for the entry in the field “**first name**” should.

In our example, it is the third column (in which the first names are). Thus, we simply enter a **3** here.

The last part of our S-reference is not entirely unimportant, because here we are asking for **true = 1** or **false = 0**.

This is a bit confusing at first, but ultimately means nothing else if Excel should search for exactly the search criterion (as it was entered), or whether it may be similar.

For our example, of course, we are looking for exactly the name entered, and not one that is similar.

So we enter a “**0**“.

Our finished S-reference for the first field “**first name**” should look like this.

*see picture:
*

# 3. Procedure W-reference

# 3. Procedure W-reference

The W-reference is relatively similar to the S-reference.

The main difference lies in the search direction.

It is not searched vertically but horizontally. To stay with our calculation example, I simply transposed the table with the data source (lines and columns swapped) to represent the W-reference

The function with which we come to our “**first name**” in the bill is therefore:

**=WVERWEIS(**

Then again specify the cell with the search criterion (the one with the customer number)

next the **matrix area** (the whole table with the master data)

and now just a **row index** instead of a **column index**.

Again, we just count by again. And in which line should be searched for the first name.

This is the third line in our example. So we enter the 3 at the line index.

And finally, we enter the “**0**” for “**False**” to search for an exact match.

Our complete function should look like this.

*see picture: (click to enlarge)*

Both the S-reference and the W-reference can be used in such a variety of ways, and lead depending on the starting position of the data source to one and the same result.

Of course, you can extend the whole range of functions considerably, and nest them with other functions as well (for example with an if-then function), but even in the basic version, some work can be done well with these fairly simple functions.

The W-reference is relatively similar to the S-reference.

The main difference lies in the search direction.

It is not searched vertically but horizontally. To stay with our calculation example, I simply transposed the table with the data source (lines and columns swapped) to represent the W-reference

The function with which we come to our “**first name**” in the bill is therefore:

**=WVERWEIS(**

Then again specify the cell with the search criterion (the one with the customer number)

next the **matrix area** (the whole table with the master data)

and now just a **row index** instead of a **column index**.

Again, we just count by again. And in which line should be searched for the first name.

This is the third line in our example. So we enter the 3 at the line index.

And finally, we enter the “**0**” for “**False**” to search for an exact match.

Our complete function should look like this.

*see picture:*

Both the S-reference and the W-reference can be used in such a variety of ways, and lead depending on the starting position of the data source to one and the same result.

Of course, you can extend the whole range of functions considerably, and nest them with other functions as well (for example with an if-then function), but even in the basic version, some work can be done well with these fairly simple functions.