To retrieve a field value from a linked data type, provide the field name as text in double quotes (""). For example, with a city in cell A1, linked to a Geography data type, you can request population data like this: In the example shown, the formula in cell C5, copied down, is: The result is population data for the 12 cities listed in B5 to B16.

Alternative syntax

The FIELDVALUE function is an alternative the “dot” syntax for retrieving a field value from a data type. The two formulas below return the same result: Note square brackets ([]) are required for field names that contain spaces: When the field name is a single word, the brackets are not required

Trapping errors

In column D of the example, FIELDVALUE is used to extract “Area” like this: This returns a #FIELD! error for cities where area is not available. To trap this error and return an empty string ("") where there are errors, the IFERROR function is used in cell D5 like this: As a result, the cells for Cairo, Beijing, Istanbul, and Mexico City display nothing instead of a #FIELD! error.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.