# ​​​​Index

The Excel INDEX function requires an array (or cell range) and a position. It returns the value that’s in the cell range at the given position.

## Syntax

=INDEX(`Array`, `Row number`, [`Column number`], [`Area number`])

## Example 1: Barebones Index formula

In its simplest form, the Index function can look like this:

``=INDEX(A1:A3, 2)`` A barebones INDEX example. Given a cell range with values 1, 2 and 3, the value in the second row is 2.

### Explanation

The result is 2 because we are finding the value in the second row in the given cell range (1, 2, 3).

## Example 2: Columns

You can use the `Column number` argument for cell ranges with more than one column: Getting the value at position (3, 2) of cell range A1:B3. 6 in this case.

### Explanation

The returned value is 6 because we are looking in cell range A1:B3 at position row 3, column 2. And there is a 6 at that position.

## About INDEX in combination with MATCH

The Index function is very often combined with the Match function because together they can be a versatile alternative to Vlookup. Since this requires some more explanation, we created a video and blog post about combining Match and Index.

## Example 3: Area number

So we’ve seen the basics. Now it’s time to try out the more advanced stuff.

You can use the Index function with multiple arrays/cell ranges and choose not only the row and column of the value but also from which array to get the value. You do this using the `Area number` argument.

Here’s an example formula where we use two cell ranges (A1:B3 and D1:E3) and the `Area number` argument with value 2: Using an Index function on two arrays. The last argument (Area number) is from which array we want to return a value.

### Explanation

The returned value is 12 because the Index function will return the value in the 3rd row of the 2nd column of the 2nd array, which is a 12 in this example.

The arrays are given with commas in between and enclosed in parentheses. You cannot use cell ranges that are from different worksheets or Excel will return a #VALUE error.

## Questions

Can I hardcode an array to use with Index?

Yes, you can. To write this array, use curly braces ({, }) around the values and separate them using commas. Like this:
=INDEX({1, 2, 3, 4}, 2), which will return 2.

Does the array index for Area number start at 0 or at 1?

The first array will have index 1.

How to combine INDEX with MATCH?

You can learn how to combine these two functions in our video and blog post here.

## Drawbacks

The Excel Index function has some drawbacks:

1. As mentioned earlier, you cannot use multiple input arrays that come from different worksheets. A #VALUE error will be returned if you do.