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# Switch between relative and absolute references

When you create a formula that refers to another cell or range, that cell reference (cell reference: The set of coordinates that a cell occupies on a sheet. For example, the reference of the cell that appears at the intersection of column B and row 3 is B3.) can be relative or absolute. A relative cell reference adjusts to its new location when the formula is copied or moved. An absolute cell reference does not change when the formula is moved.

- Select the cell that contains the cell reference that you want to change.
- In the formula bar (formula bar: A toolbar that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. The formula bar displays the constant value or formula used in the active cell.), click the cell reference that you want to change.
- Press + T to move through the combinations.

In the following table, the **Changes to** column reflects how a reference type updates if a formula that contains the reference is copied two cells down and two cells to the right.

Current reference (description): |
Changes to: |
---|---|

$A$1 (absolute cell reference (absolute cell reference: In a formula, the exact address of a cell, regardless of the position of the cell that contains the formula. An absolute reference takes the form $A$1, $B$1, and so on.) column and absolute row) | $A$1 |

A$1 (relative cell reference (relative cell reference: A cell reference in a formula, such as A1 or B1, that tells Excel the address of a cell based on the relative position of the cell that contains the formula and the cell that the formula refers to. When you copy a formula that contains a relative cell reference, the reference automatically adjusts. By default, new formulas use relative references.) column and absolute row) | C$1 |

$A1 (absolute column and relative row) | $A3 |

A1 (relative column and relative row) | C3 |

### See also

Applies to:

Excel for Mac 2011