Assign References

A reference is a variable whose definition and content are based on another cell. It is useful whenever you want to leverage data of a cell that has been obtained using a complex formula. You can use references anywhere in a document, in any report or formula. As an example, you could use references to create a summary report that references figures from other reports.

You use a reference to point to another cell and reuse its value. Using a reference as a direct pointer to the content of a referenced cell is a direct shortcut to the value you are interested in. After you have created a reference in a document, it is replaced by the content of the referenced cell. At refresh time, references are replaced by the content of their target cells. References can be consumed in an entire document and used for conditional formats or any other calculation.

A reference always inherits the type of the cell it references. If the referenced cell type is a string for instance, then the reference type is a string as well. If the referenced cell type changes, then the reference adapts so.

 The definition of a reference is made of two elements:

  • A name
  • The path of the cell it references


  • A reference doesn’t keep the format of its target cell. If a target cell has a specific color or font for instance, it is not reflected in the reference.
  • When hiding a column table that contains a referenced cell or a commented cell, the reference is lost as well as the comment.
  • When you create a reference on a cell, this reference is broken if:

    • You hide the cell
    • You cut and paste the cell
    • You drag and drop the column containing the cell

To assign a reference

1)      Right-click a cell whose content you want to reuse.

2)      Click Assign Reference.

3)      Select the radio button next to “Create new reference…” to assign a new reference to the cell.

4)      Enter a name for the reference

5)      Click OK.

Screen shot of InfoView Assign Reference window

The reference now appears in the Available Objects pane, under the References folder. Note that if you copy and paste a cell using a reference, then the reference in the copied cell points to the same target cell.

Screen shot of Available Objects pane

To rename a reference

1)      In the Available Objects pane, right-click the reference you want to rename.

2)      Click Rename Variable.

3)      Enter a name in the New name text field.

4)      Click OK.

The reference has been updated with its new name in the Available Objects pane, under the References folder.