Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Relative References
Figure 3-2
Total monthly expenses
formula to calculate the sum of
values in the range D22:D31
monthl y totals
5. Review the total expenses for each month. January and August are particularly
expensive months because Glenn has to pay tuition and purchase books for the
upcoming semester.
6. Click each cell in the range D32:N32, reviewing the formula entered in the cell.
The formulas pasted into the range D32:N32 all calculate the sums of values in
different cell references. For example, the formula =SUM(D22:D31) was inserted
in cell D32, the formula =SUM(E22:E31) was inserted in cell E32, and so forth.
Using Relative References
When you entered the formula in cell C32 to sum the January expenses, Excel interprets
the cell references in that formula relative to the location of cell C32. In other words,
Excel interprets the formula =SUM(C22:C31) as adding the values entered in the 10 cells
directly above cell C32.
Excel uses this interpretation of the cell references when the formula is pasted into
other cells. For example, when you pasted the formula in cell D32, the formula changed
to =SUM(D22:D31), which has a different cell reference but the same meaning: adding
the values of the 10 cells directly above the active cell. The formulas in the remaining
cells of the range D32:E32 were similarly adjusted so that each formula displays the total
expenses for the selected month.
The cell references used in these formulas are called relative references because when
Excel copies and pastes them, they are always interpreted in relation, or relative, to the
location of the cell containing the formula. Figure 3-3 illustrates how a relative cell
reference in a formula changes when the formula is copied to another group of cells.
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