Knowing when to use absolute references

Book cover This article is an excerpt from John Walkenbach's Favorite Excel 2007 Tips & Tricks by John Walkenbach. A.k.a. Mr. Spreadsheet, John is arguably the foremost authority on Excel. His forty-plus books include Excel 2007 Power Programming with VBA, Excel 2007 Formulas, and the bestselling Excel 2007 Bible, all published by Wiley. He has also written hundreds of articles and created the award-winning Power Utility Pack. Visit to learn more about this book.

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

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Applies to:
Excel 2007