If you\"re new to Excel because that the web, you\"ll soon discover that it\"s an ext than simply a grid in which you go into numbers in columns or rows. Yes, you deserve to use Excel for the net to find totals for a tower or heat of numbers, however you can also calculate a mortgage payment, fix math or engineering problems, or discover a ideal case scenario based on variable numbers the you plug in.

You are watching: An excel user should use a relative cell reference when it is important to ____.

Excel for the net does this by utilizing formulas in cells. A formula performs calculations or various other actions top top the data in her worksheet. A formula constantly starts through an equal authorize (=), which deserve to be complied with by numbers, math operator (such as a add to or minus sign), and functions, which have the right to really increase the power of a formula.

For example, the complying with formula multiplies 2 by 3 and also then adds 5 come that an outcome to come up v the answer, 11.


This following formula supplies the PMT duty to calculation a mortgage payment ($1,073.64), i beg your pardon is based on a 5 percent interest rate (5% separated by 12 months amounts to the monthly interest rate) over a 30-year duration (360 months) for a $200,000 loan:


Here are some additional examples that formulas the you can go into in a worksheet.

=A1+A2+A3 add to the values in cell A1, A2, and also A3.

=SQRT(A1) provides the SQRT function to return the square root of the worth in A1.

=TODAY() return the present date.

=UPPER(\"hello\") converts the message \"hello\" come \"HELLO\" by using the UPPER worksheet function.

=IF(A1>0) tests the cabinet A1 to recognize if it includes a value greater than 0.

The parts of a formula

A formula can also contain any or every one of the following: functions, references, operators, and also constants.


1. Functions: The PI() role returns the worth of pi: 3.142...

2. References: A2 returns the value in cell A2.

3. Constants: numbers or message values entered straight into a formula, such together 2.

4. Operators: The ^ (caret) operator raises a number to a power, and also the * (asterisk) operator multiplies numbers.

Using constants in formulas

Using calculation operators in formulas

Operators clues the type of calculation that you desire to perform on the facets of a formula. Over there is a default order in i beg your pardon calculations happen (this follows general math rules), yet you can readjust this bespeak by making use of parentheses.

Types of operators

There are 4 different species of calculation operators: arithmetic, comparison, message concatenation, and also reference.

Arithmetic operator

To perform basic mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division; incorporate numbers; and also produce numeric results, usage the adhering to arithmetic operators.

Arithmetic operator



+ (plus sign)



– (minus sign)



* (asterisk)



/ (forward slash)



% (percent sign)



^ (caret)



Comparison operator

You deserve to compare 2 values through the adhering to operators. When two values are compared by making use of these operators, the result is a reasonable value — either TRUE or FALSE.

comparison operator



= (equal sign)

Equal to


> (greater 보다 sign)

Greater than


= (greater than or same to sign)

Greater 보다 or same to


(not equal to sign)

Not equal to


text concatenation operator

Use the ampersand (&) to concatenate (join) one or much more text strings to create a single piece the text.

Text operator



& (ampersand)

Connects, or concatenates, two values to develop one continuous text value

\"North\"&\"wind\" results in \"Northwind\"

reference operators

Combine ranges of cells for calculations v the adhering to operators.

Reference operator



: (colon)

Range operator, i m sorry produces one recommendation to all the cells in between two references, consisting of the two references.


, (comma)

Union operator, which combine multiple references into one reference



Intersection operator, i beg your pardon produces one referral to cells common to the 2 references

B7:D7 C6:C8

The stimulate in which Excel for the web performs to work in formulas

In some cases, the stimulate in which a calculation is perform can affect the return worth of the formula, for this reason it\"s crucial to understand how the order is determined and how girlfriend can change the stimulate to achieve the outcomes you want.

Calculation stimulate

Formulas calculate values in a particular order. A formula constantly begins v an equal sign (=). Excel for the internet interprets the personalities that monitor the equal sign as a formula. Adhering to the equal sign are the aspects to it is in calculated (the operands), such as constants or cabinet references. These are separated by calculation operators. Excel because that the net calculates the formula indigenous left come right, according to a certain order for each operator in the formula.

Operator precedence

If you integrate several operators in a solitary formula, Excel because that the web performs the operations in the order presented in the complying with table. If a formula has operators v the exact same precedence—for example, if a formula includes both a multiplication and division operator— Excel for the internet evaluates the operators from left to right.



: (colon)

(single space)

, (comma)

Reference operators

Negation (as in –1)





* and /

Multiplication and also division

+ and –

Addition and subtraction


Connects 2 strings of message (concatenation)



use of bracket

To readjust the stimulate of evaluation, enclose in parentheses the part of the formula to it is in calculated first. Because that example, the adhering to formula to produce 11 because Excel because that the internet performs multiplication prior to addition. The formula multiplies 2 through 3 and then adds 5 come the result.


In contrast, if you use parentheses to readjust the syntax, Excel because that the web adds 5 and 2 together and then multiplies the result by 3 to produce 21.


In the adhering to example, the parentheses the enclose the first part of the formula pressure Excel for the net to calculate B4+25 first and then division the an outcome by the sum of the worths in cells D5, E5, and also F5.


Using functions and also nested attributes in formulas

Functions space predefined recipe that execute calculations by using specific values, referred to as arguments, in a specific order, or structure. Attributes can be provided to perform straightforward or complicated calculations.

The syntax that functions

The following example of the ROUND role rounding off a number in cabinet A10 illustrates the syntax the a function.


1. Structure. The framework of a duty begins v an equal sign (=), followed by the function name, an opened parenthesis, the disagreements for the role separated by commas, and also a closing parenthesis.

2. Duty name. For a list of available functions, click a cell and also press SHIFT+F3.

3. Arguments. Arguments can be numbers, text, logical worths such as TRUE or FALSE, arrays, error worths such together #N/A, or cell references. The dispute you point out must develop a valid worth for the argument. Disagreements can likewise be constants, formulas, or various other functions.

4. Argument tooltip. A tooltip v the syntax and also arguments shows up as you kind the function. Because that example, form =ROUND( and also the tooltip appears. Tooltips show up only for integrated functions.

Entering functions

When you create a formula that consists of a function, you can use the Insert Function dialog crate to aid you go into worksheet functions. Together you go into a duty into the formula, the Insert Function dialog box screens the surname of the function, every of the arguments, a description of the duty and each argument, the current result of the function, and also the current result of the whole formula.

To do it much easier to create and also edit formulas and also minimize typing and syntax errors, usage Formula AutoComplete. After ~ you type an = (equal sign) and also beginning letters or a display trigger, Excel for the internet displays, below the cell, a dynamic drop-down perform of precious functions, arguments, and names that match the letters or trigger. You deserve to then insert an item from the drop-down list into the formula.

Nesting functions

In details cases, you may need to usage a function as among the arguments of an additional function. For example, the following formula supplies a nested AVERAGE duty and compares the an outcome with the worth 50.


1. The AVERAGE and also SUM attributes are nested within the IF function.

Valid returns as soon as a nested function is supplied as one argument, the nested function must return the same kind of value that the discussion uses. For example, if the discussion returns a TRUE or FALSE value, the nested duty must return a TRUE or FALSE value. If the function doesn\"t, Excel because that the web displays a #VALUE! error value.

Nesting level limits A formula deserve to contain up to seven levels that nested functions. When one function (we\"ll contact this function B) is supplied as an discussion in another duty (we\"ll contact this function A), function B acts together a second-level function. Because that example, the AVERAGE function and the SUM role are both second-level features if lock are offered as disagreements of the IF function. A function nested within the nested AVERAGE function is then a third-level function, and so on.

Using references in formulas

A recommendation identifies a cabinet or a range of cells on a worksheet, and tells Excel for the net where come look because that the values or data you want to use in a formula. You can use references to use data included in different parts the a worksheet in one formula or use the worth from one cell in several formulas. You can also refer to cells on other sheets in the exact same workbook, and to various other workbooks. References to cells in other workbooks are called links or exterior references.

The A1 recommendation style

The default reference style by default, Excel for the web uses the A1 recommendation style, which refers to columns through letters (A v XFD, because that a complete of 16,384 columns) and refers to rows through numbers (1 through 1,048,576). These letters and also numbers are called row and column headings. To describe a cell, get in the obelisk letter followed by the row number. For example, B2 refers to the cell at the intersection of column B and also row 2.

To express to


The cell in column A and also row 10


The variety of cell in shaft A and also rows 10 through 20


The range of cell in heat 15 and also columns B through E


All cell in row 5


All cell in rows 5 with 10


All cell in tower H


All cell in columns H through J


The range of cells in columns A v E and rows 10 v 20


Making a referral to an additional worksheet In the following example, the AVERAGE worksheet role calculates the median value because that the range B1:B10 on the worksheet named Marketing in the same workbook.


1. Describes the worksheet called Marketing

2. Refers to the range of cells between B1 and B10, inclusively

3. Separates the worksheet reference from the cell range reference

The difference in between absolute, relative and mixed references

Relative references A relative cell reference in a formula, such together A1, is based upon the relative place of the cell that contains the formula and the cabinet the reference refers to. If the position of the cabinet that includes the formula changes, the recommendation is changed. If girlfriend copy or to fill the formula across rows or down columns, the reference immediately adjusts. Through default, new formulas use loved one references. Because that example, if friend copy or to fill a relative reference in cell B2 to cell B3, it instantly adjusts indigenous =A1 come =A2.


Absolute references An absolute cell reference in a formula, such as $A$1, constantly refer to a cell in a particular location. If the position of the cabinet that contains the formula changes, the absolute recommendation remains the same. If you copy or fill the formula throughout rows or under columns, the absolute referral does no adjust. Through default, new formulas use loved one references, so you might need to switch them to pure references. Because that example, if you copy or fill an absolute reference in cell B2 to cabinet B3, it remains the same in both cells: =$A$1.


Mixed references A combined reference has actually either an absolute column and also relative row, or pure row and relative column. An absolute pillar reference takes the type $A1, $B1, and also so on. An absolute row referral takes the kind A$1, B$1, and so on. If the position of the cabinet that includes the formula changes, the relative recommendation is changed, and the absolute referral does no change. If you copy or fill the formula throughout rows or down columns, the family member reference instantly adjusts, and the absolute recommendation does no adjust. Because that example, if you copy or to fill a mixed reference from cabinet A2 to B3, that adjusts indigenous =A$1 to =B$1.


The 3-D reference style

Conveniently referencing many worksheets If you desire to analysis data in the exact same cell or range of cells on lot of worksheets within a workbook, usage a 3-D reference. A 3-D reference has the cabinet or selection reference, came before by a range of worksheet names. Excel because that the net uses any worksheets stored between the beginning and finishing names that the reference. For example, =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet13!B5) adds every the values contained in cabinet B5 on all the worksheets between and also including sheet 2 and also Sheet 13.

You deserve to use 3-D referrals to refer to cells on other sheets, to specify names, and also to develop formulas by using the adhering to functions: SUM, AVERAGE, AVERAGEA, COUNT, COUNTA, MAX, MAXA, MIN, MINA, PRODUCT, STDEV.P, STDEV.S, STDEVA, STDEVPA, VAR.P, VAR.S, VARA, and VARPA.

3-D references cannot be used in variety formulas.

3-D references cannot be used with the intersection operator (a single space) or in formulas that use implicit intersection.

What occurs once you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets The following examples describe what happens as soon as you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets the are contained in a 3-D reference. The instances use the formula =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet6!A2:A5) to include cells A2 v A5 ~ above worksheets 2 through 6.

Insert or copy If friend insert or copy sheets in between Sheet2 and also Sheet6 (the endpoints in this example), Excel because that the web contains all values in cells A2 with A5 from the added sheets in the calculations.

Delete If girlfriend delete sheets in between Sheet2 and also Sheet6, Excel for the web removes their worths from the calculation.

Move If you move sheets from between Sheet2 and Sheet6 come a location exterior the referenced sheet range, Excel because that the web removes their worths from the calculation.

Move one endpoint If you relocate Sheet2 or Sheet6 to one more location in the same workbook, Excel for the web adjusts the calculation come accommodate the brand-new range that sheets between them.

Delete an endpoint If you delete Sheet2 or Sheet6, Excel for the net adjusts the calculation to accommodate the range of sheets in between them.

The R1C1 reference style

You can also use a reference style where both the rows and also the columns top top the worksheet are numbered. The R1C1 reference layout is useful for computer row and column positions in macros. In the R1C1 style, Excel because that the web shows the location of a cell through an \"R\" adhered to by a heat number and also a \"C\" adhered to by a pillar number.




A relative referral to the cell two rows up and in the very same column


A relative reference to the cell 2 rows down and two columns come the right


An absolute recommendation to the cell in the second row and in the 2nd column


A relative referral to the entire row above the energetic cell


An absolute reference to the existing row

When you document a macro, Excel for the web records some commands by utilizing the R1C1 recommendation style. Because that example, if you record a command, such together clicking the AutoSum button to insert a formula that adds a range of cells, Excel for the web records the formula by utilizing R1C1 style, not A1 style, references.

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Using surname in formulas

You have the right to create defined names to stand for cells, arrays of cells, formulas, constants, or Excel because that the internet tables. A surname is a meaningful shorthand that renders it easier to understand the purpose of a cell reference, constant, formula, or table, every of which may be difficult to recognize at very first glance. The adhering to information shows usual examples the names and how using them in formulas deserve to improve clarity and also make formulas simpler to understand.