Cell References in Microsoft Excel
In Microsoft Excel, There are two types of cell references: relative and absolute. Relative and absolute references behave differently when copied and filled to other cells. Relative references change when a formula is copied to another cell. Absolute references remain constant, no matter where they are copied.
By default, all cell references are relative references. When copied across multiple cells, they change based on the relative position of rows and columns. For example, if you copy the formula =A1+B1 from row 1 to row 2, the formula will become =A2+B2. Relative references are especially convenient whenever you need to repeat the same calculation across multiple rows or columns.
There may be times when you do not want a cell reference to change when filling cells. Unlike relative references, absolute references do not change when copied or filled. You can use an absolute reference to keep a row and/or column constant.
An absolute reference is designated in a formula by the addition of a dollar sign ($). It can precede the column reference, the row reference, or both.
Absolute Reference Types
|$A$2||The column and the row do not change when copied|
|A$2||The row does not change when copied|
|$A2||The column does not change when copied|
You will generally use the $A$2 format when creating formulas that contain absolute references. The other two formats are used much less frequently.
When writing a formula, you can press the F4 key on your keyboard to switch between relative and absolute cell references. This is an easy way to quickly insert an absolute reference.