Working with Relative and Absolute Cell References<br />Relative Cell References<br />By default, in Excel 2007 all cell r...
Working with absolute references
Working with absolute references
Working with absolute references
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Working with absolute references

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This is a quick tutorial for Excel 2007

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Working with absolute references

  1. 1. Working with Relative and Absolute Cell References<br />Relative Cell References<br />By default, in Excel 2007 all cell references are Relative cell references. This means that when you copy or move a Relative cell reference, Excel changes that cell reference relative to its new position within the spreadsheet.<br />In the example below, the formula in cell B8 (=sum(B3:B6) has been copied to fill cells C8 through to E8. Because the cell references are Relative references, Excel has changed the cell reference to reflect the position within a new column.<br />Absolute Cell References<br />To the larger degree in Excel, the default to use Relative cell references is an indispensible feature of the program. However, there will be times when you do not want a cell reference with a formula to change. In such a case you will need to apply an Absolute cell reference. An Absolute cell reference will ensure that a cell reference within a formula will not change relative to its new position within a spreadsheet. <br />In the example below, we are going to calculate the commission for employee Davis by writing a formula in Cell H5 that reads =G1*G5. <br />However, when the formula is copied down to include employee’s Smith through Baker (cells H6 to H8) the values of the formula either show as blank or as a Value Error. <br />This is due to the fact that Excel has, by default, used a Relative cell reference and changed all the cell references within the formula to reflect their new position within the spreadsheet.<br />To solve this problem, we are going to apply an Absolute cell reference to cell G1 to ensure that component of the formula never changes. To apply the Absolute cell reference, move to the formula bar in Excel and place a dollar sign before the G and a dollar sign before the 1 in the formula. The formula should now read =$G$1*G5. In the case of absolute cell references the dollar sign does not represent a monetary value but acts as the “Operator” for the Absolute reference.<br />When the formula is copied down to include employees Smith through Baker, the Absolute cell reference stays the same while the Relative cell references changes to reflect its new position. <br />The formulas are now represented by their correct value, reflecting the commissions earned by each individual employee.<br />

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