With an Excel 3D reference, a cell in a worksheet may link to a cell in another spreadsheet or an entirely new workbook. To create them simply, select the cell you want to receive the data, enter an = sign, and then click on the cell that will send the data.
Too many 3D references can make Excel spreadsheets slow too load, complex to maintain, and apt to crash. If you find that you need a lot of these types of references you may want to upgrade to Access.
In the Inquire tab, Excel has several options for viewing the relationships between cells, worksheets, and workbooks. Click on whatever option is appropriate for your type of references, and Excel will create a simple chart.
A 3D reference is when the information from a cell in a different worksheet is pulled to a worksheet needing the information.
Example: If your separated worksheets are laid out with information from each quarter (ie: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 worksheets), and you need to see overall totals in each worksheet, you can use a 3D reference to pull information into the current quarter, from a prior quarter.
Notice the formula (SUM Function) in the Formula Bar includes a 3D reference from the Q1 worksheet, cell F4 (‘Q1’!F4). Keep in mind that 3D references cannot be typed in directly, so they must be selected by clicking the worksheet tab, then the cell you want included in the formula. When you are done creating the formula, hit enter like usual and your formula will be completed.