Relative and Absolute References

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Relative and Absolute Referencing

In this lesson, we will learn how to use referencing which simplifies how you use excel formulas.

Firstly, What is Referencing in Excel?
Referencing refers to the act of referring or pointing to a specific cell or range of cells in a formula. When you reference a cell, you are telling Excel to use the value or data from that cell in your calculations or functions.

Relative referencing

What is it?

Relative cell referencing is when you copy a formula to different cells, the references in the formula automatically adjust to the new location. It saves you from having to change the references manually, making it easier to work with formulas and data in Excel.

Absolute Referencing

What is it?

Absolute cell referencing is a way of referring to cells in Excel formulas that doesn’t change when the formula is copied to other cells.

It uses a dollar sign ($) to lock the reference in place. It’s like putting a “do not move” sign on a cell so that the formula always refers to that exact cell, no matter where it’s copied.

Emily wants to know what percentage of each chocolate she sold of the total chocolates. 

For our exercise we will practice absolute referencing. In the blue column calculate the percentage of each chocolate sold by dividing every Total Sold with the Total Chocolates Sold on cell G16. We’ve done the Aero example for you: Total Sold of Aero (g6) divide by Total Sold of Chocolates (G16) , multiplied by 100

Remember to make the Total sold column absolute by adding $ sign in front of G16. Then you can just DRAG down the formula.

  • An Absolute reference will fix a cell or a group of cells to not change when you copy formulas
  • A Relative reference will change in relation to the cell referenced in the formula