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Excel formula fixed cell address

How to insert a formula with a fixed cell address? Absolute referencing will come to the rescue.

Absolute reference in Excel is prefix with a dollar ($) sign.

$A$1: This means that Column "A" and Row "1" will not change when copied to another cell.



The above formula when copied from one cell to another cell, $A$1 will remain the same.

While A$1,$A2 will change its location when copied to another cell.

 A$1: This means that column "A" will change while row location (which is number 1) will not change when copied.

 So this absolute reference will change like D$1, G$1 or E$1 depends on the location. So number "1" value will never change.

 $A1: The column "A" will not change when copied from one cell to another cell, while the row value which is number "1" will change.

So the above absolute reference will change like $A3, $A10, $A12 etc., Column "A" will be constant while the row changes.

So, in a layman point of view; to make the address absolute then prefix it with "$" dollar sign and anything beside the dollar sign will not change.

To understand it clearly, try this example:

 In column A, of the excel sheet input these values from A1 to A6:







On cell "D1" type this formula: =SUM(A$1,$A2,$A$3)

 Copy the formula to cell E6.

 And copy also a formula to cell F7.


After copying the formula to above cells, the formula will be like this:

 Cell E6 will have this formula: =SUM(B$1,$A7,$A$3)

Cell F7 will have this formula: =SUM(C$1,$A8,$A$3)

Cell E6 change the formula =SUM(A$1,$A2,$A$3)   to =SUM(B$1,$A7,$A$3

Cell F7 change the formula =SUM(A$1,$A2,$A$3)   to =SUM(C$1,$A8,$A$3)

If the formula is copied to Column C or B it will result to an error.

 It will result to error because where the formula is copied, absolute reference treat it as the point of reference.

That's why formula in Column "E" change to "B" and Column "F" change to "C". Since the point of reference is Column D and absolute referencing treat it as "Column A".

For the row in absolute referencing it looks like that counting starts at number "2".

So if this formula =SUM(A$1,$A2,$A$3) is copied to cell E1.

The formula will be changed to: =SUM(B$1,$A2,$A$3)

Excel is just a giant tool, but it's quite good if you know how to tune it.

Cheers, till next time.


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