Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Cell References in Formulas
Relative: The row and column references can change when you copy the formula to
another cell because the references are actually offsets from the current row and
column. By default, Excel creates relative cell references in formulas.
Absolute: The row and column references don’t change when you copy the formula
because the reference is to an actual cell address. An absolute reference uses two
dollar signs in its address: one for the column letter and one for the row number
(for example, $A$5).
Mixed: Either the row or column reference is relative, and the other is absolute.
Only one of the address parts is absolute (for example, $A4 or A$4).
The type of cell reference is important only if you plan to copy the formula to other cells.
The following examples illustrate this point.
Figure 15.7 shows a simple worksheet. The formula in cell D2, which multiplies the quantity
by the price, is
=B2*C2
FIGURE 15.7
Copying a formula that contains relative references
This formula uses relative cell references. Therefore, when the formula is copied to the cells
below it, the references adjust in a relative manner. For example, the formula in cell D3 is
=B3*C3
But what if the cell references in D2 contained absolute references, like this?
=$B$2*$C$2
In this case, copying the formula to the cells below would produce incorrect results. The
formula in cell D3 would be exactly the same as the formula in cell D2.
Now I’fill extend the example to calculate sales tax, which is stored in cell B7 (see Figure
15.8). In this situation, the formula in cell D2 is:
=(B2*C2)*$B$7
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