Absolute Reference in Excel (Table of Contents)
- Absolute Cell Reference in Excel
- How to Create Absolute Cell Reference in Excel?
- How to Use Absolute Cell Reference in Excel?
Introduction to Absolute Cell Reference in Excel
Absolute reference in excel is used when we want to fix the position of the selected cell in any formula so that its value will be not changed whenever we are changing the cell or copying the formula to other cells or sheets. This is done by putting the dollar (“$”) sign before and after the column name of the selected cell. Or else, we can type F4 function key which will automatically cover the column alphabet with the dollar. For example, if you want to fix the cell A1 then it will look as “=$A$1”.
Uses of Absolute Cell Reference in Excel
The absolute cell reference in excel is a cell address that contains a dollar sign ($). It can precede the column reference, the row reference or both. With the use of an absolute cell reference in excel, we can keep a row or a column constant or can keep both constant. It doesn’t change when copied to other cells.
How to Create an Absolute Cell Reference in Excel?
Below are the steps to convert a cell address into an absolute cell reference:
- Select a cell where you want to create an absolute cell reference. Suppose cell A1.
- =A1, it’s a relative reference. We will discuss this in a later chapter.
- =$A1, if we put a $ dollar sign before the column coordinate, it locked the only column. Means when we drag this cell the only row keeps changing in that particular column and the column remains constant.
- =A$1, if we put a $ dollar sign before the row coordinate, it locked the only row. Means when we drag this cell only column keeps changing in that particular row and the row remain constant.
- =$A$1, it’s called an absolute cell reference. It locked both the row and the column. If we drag this cell or copy this cell, the cell or formula cell will remain constant.
How to Use Absolute Cell Reference in Excel?
Let’s take some examples to understand the use of an absolute cell reference in excel.
Absolute Reference in Excel – Example #1
In the below data, we have some workers name and the corresponding number of hours worked by them. We have the same fixed wage per hour paid for everyone.
Now we need to calculate the gross pay based on the hours worked.
Hourly Wage Rate = $10.00
We have fixed Wage rate per hour is $10.00. Now we will calculate the gross pay for every worker.
As per the above screenshot, in cell C20 for calculating the gross pay of worker John, we will multiply the no. of hours worked B20 and fixed wage hourly rate B16. The result is:
If we drag this formula for the rest workers, it will give the incorrect results as per below screenshot.
In the above screenshot, the value of a fixed hourly wage rate is changing for every worker. But we have the same fixed wage rate for all workers. We will make cell B16 as an absolute cell reference. Please see below screenshot:
We will put a $ dollar sign before the column name & before the row number. Like $B$16.
The result is:
Through this, we lock the value of B16 for all workers. So now when we will drag this formula for the rest workers, it will give the correct results.
It is calculating the gross pay by multiplying the numbers of hour worked by each worker with the fixed wage hourly rate. Please check below screenshot:
Absolute Reference in Excel – Example #2
Ritika visits a retailer shop and buys some groceries and beauty products. She picks near about 15 products as listed below:
We have the GST 10%, which is Goods and Service tax rate for each item. For calculating the Net Amount, we need to calculate the tax rate for every item.
First, we will calculate the total price of each item by multiplying the no. of an item with the corresponding product price.
The result is:
Drag this formula for the rest products.
Now for calculating the tax rate for each product, we need to multiply the total price and GST rate.
GST Rate is 10%. Here we will use an absolute cell reference as GST is fixed for each item. Thus we will make cell E33 as an absolute cell reference by using key F4.
The result is:
Now drag this formula for the rest items.
Here we are using the formula:
By adding the total price with GST, it will give the total bill.
So the Result is Rs. 300.60 as per below screenshot:
Things to Remember
- They are often used in formulas, charts, functions, a combination of functions and other commands.
- It is very important when to keep a cell reference constant while copying to a different cell.
- Use F4 key to make a cell as an absolute cell reference in excel.
- It is very useful in complex formulas and saves a lot of time in calculation.
This has been a guide to Absolute Reference in Excel. Here we discuss its uses and how to create Absolute Cell Reference along with excel examples and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful tools in excel –