Cell Referencing7:37 with Michael Watson
You can calculate data by making references to specific cells — for example, you can sum all the values in cells 2 through 30 in a specific column. Spreadsheets let you reference cells by their row number and column letter using several different methods. Learn how in this video.
- you can continue to use the spreadsheet from the last video, or
- open a copy of this spreadsheet to catch up to this video
Types of References
Relative: identifies a cell in relation to its row or column. For example
A2means the cell in column A, row 2. Relative references update when you copy or move them.
- Absolute: identifies a cell in a specific row, column or both. Use absolute references when you don't want a row reference or column reference to update when you move of copy the reference. You can specify a specific cell by providing an absolute reference to a specific row and column. This is useful if you want to use a cell in multiple calculations throughout a sheet — for example, a cell that contains a sales tax rate that's used in multiple places to calculate sales tax for multiple items.
Examples of Absolute References
$A$2refers to the specific cell in column
2. Copying or moving this reference will always point to cell
A$2refers to the cells specifically in row
2. The row number,
2in this example, won't update when copying or moving this reference. However, the column reference might update.
$A2refers to the cells specifically in column
A. The column letter,
Ain this example, won't update when copying or moving this reference. However, the row reference might update.
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