Excel Absolute Cell References

In working with spreadsheets, you need to know about relative vs. absolute cell references.

Here is the issue: when you COPY A FORMULA that contains cell references, what happens to the cell references?

Usually the CELL REFERENCES will CHANGE! If you copy a formula 2 rows to the right, then the cell references in the formula will shift 2 cells to the right. If you copy a formula 3 rows down and 1 row left, then the cell references in the formula will shift 3 rows down and 1 row left. These are called “relative” cell references, since they change relative to where you copy the formula.

If you do not want cell (A4) references to change when you copy a formula, then make those cell references absolute cell references. Place a “$” before the Row “A$4” will freeze the Row and place a “$” before the column (“$A4”) will freeze the column and place a “$” both before Row and column will freeze the entire cell (“$A$4”) . Note: when entering formulas, you can use the F4 key right after entering a cell reference to toggle among the different relative/absolute versions of that cell address. When you press F4 one time it will freeze entire cell, when you press F4 two times then it will freeze Row, if you press F4 for three times then it will freeze column.

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