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Relative and Absolute References in Excel


This video will help you to both use and understand relative and absolute cell references in Excel, Numbers, or other spreadsheet applications.

An absolute cell reference is written using cash signs (e.g. $C$1).

When a formula is written with an absolute reference, that references will never change no matter where it is copied and pasted. When the reference is relative then the formula will adjust if it’s pasted in a new place.

For example, if you were to copy the formula =$C$1+$D$1 and paste it to the right one cell nothing would change. If the formula were =C1+D1 and you copied and pasted it one cell to the right all of the column references would shift one to the right and would become =D1+E1.

This is incredibly useful, especially when you begin to combine relative and absolute references to create formulas that can transfer very easily while always referencing the proper data.

This video was made using Screenflow by Telestream (for Mac)

Tutor Bio

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In real life Mike is a husband and father of 2. He also develops websites (like this one) and makes overwhelming amounts of data understandable using Excel, Numbers, Access, etc.