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Chapter 10. Constructing Excel Formulas > Using Relative, Absolute, and Mixed C...

Using Relative, Absolute, and Mixed Cell References in Formulas

Cells can have different types of references, depending on how you want to use them in a formula. Up until this point in the chapter, all the cell references written in the formula examples have been relative references. By default, Excel doesn't treat the cells you include in a formula as a set location. Instead, Excel considers the cells as a relative location. This type of referencing saves you from having to create the same formula over and over again. You can copy it and the cell references adjust accordingly. You saw this principle in action earlier in this chapter in the section on copying formulas ("Writing Multiple Copies of a Formula").

When writing AutoSum formulas, for example, formulas are written with relative references, and you can use AutoFill to quickly copy the formula to other cells. The copied formulas adjust themselves to the appropriate references. For example, if a relative reference in a formula refers to "the cell on my left," every copy of that formula refers to the cell on its left, no matter where you copy it.


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