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# Move or copy a formula

When you move a formula, the cell references within the formula do not change. When you copy a formula, the cell references may change based on the type of reference used.

- Select the cell that contains the formula.
- Verify that the cell references used in the formula will produce the result you want. Switch to the type of reference you need. To move a formula, use an absolute 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 cell reference takes the form $A$1.).

- Select the cell that contains the formula.
- In the formula bar (formula bar: A bar at the top of the Excel window that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. Displays the constant value or formula stored in the active cell.) , select the reference you want to change.
- Press F4 to toggle through the combinations. The "Changes To" column reflects how a reference type updates if a formula containing the reference is copied two cells down and two cells to the right.

Formula being copied

Reference (Description) |
Changes to |
---|---|

$A$1 (absolute (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 cell reference takes the form $A$1.) column and absolute row) | $A$1 |

A$1 (relative (relative reference: In a formula, the address of a cell based on the relative position of the cell that contains the formula and the cell referred to. If you copy the formula, the reference automatically adjusts. A relative reference takes the form A1.) column and absolute row) | C$1 |

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

A1 (relative column and relative row) | C3 |

- On the
**Edit**menu, click**Copy**. - Select the cell you want to copy it to.
- To copy the formula and any formatting, on the
**Edit**menu, click**Paste**. - To copy the formula only, on the
**Edit**menu, click**Paste Special**, and then click**Formulas**.

- You can also copy formulas into adjacent cells by using the fill handle (fill handle: The small black square in the lower-right corner of the selection. When you point to the fill handle, the pointer changes to a black cross.) . Select the cell that contains the formula, and then drag the fill handle over the range you want to fill.
- You can also move formulas by dragging the border of the selected cell to the upper-left cell of the paste area. Any existing data is replaced.

Applies to:

Excel 2003