Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Cell References**

Creating a Basic

Formula

Figure 17-2:

Top: If you create

a formula with a

mismatched number

of opening and

closing parentheses (like

this one), Excel won’t

accept it.

Bottom: Excel offers

to correct the formula

by adding the missing

parentheses at the

end. You may not

want this addition,

though. If not, cancel

the suggestion, and

then edit your

formula by hand.

Excel helps a bit by

highlighting matched

sets of parentheses.

For example, as you

move to the opening

parenthesis, Excel

automatically bolds

both the opening and

closing parentheses in

the formula bar.

For example, say you want to calculate the cost of your Amazonian adventure

holiday, based on information like the number of days your trip will last, the price of

food and lodging, and the cost of vaccination shots at a travel clinic. If you use cell

references, you can enter all this information into different cells, and then write a

formula that calculates a grand total. This approach buys you unlimited flexibility

because you can change the cell data whenever you want (for example, turning your

three-day getaway into a month-long odyssey), and Excel automatically refreshes

the formula results.

Cell references are a great way to save a
ton
of time. They come in handy when you

want to create a formula that involves a bunch of widely scattered cells whose values

frequently change. For example, rather than manually adding up a bunch of

subtotals to create a grand total, you can create a grand total formula that uses cell

references to point to a handful of subtotal cells. They also let you refer to large groups

of cells by specifying a
range
. For example, using the cell reference lingo you’ll learn

on page 472, you can specify all the cells in the first column between the second and

100th rows.