Excel automatically adjusted the formulas so that each formula referenced cells in the corresponding locations (columns a and b — it changed the row numbers) to the cells referenced by the cell that I was copying. For example, if we had a string of related numbers and wanted to find out the percentage each is of the total, we’d need to divide them by the sum. Instead of automatically changing the formula to point to a different cell, when we copy a cell whose formula uses absolute addressing to refer to a cell, the new copies still point to the same cell.
Excel and OpenOffice (and Lotus 1-2-3 and probably others, too) use the dollar sign ($) to indicate an absolute reference.
Continuing with the same example, let’s take the first running subtotal (cell G2) and calculate its percentage of the total. By using the dollar sign ($) in the formula, the copied formula will correctly reference the relatively addressed cell in each row and the absolutely referenced total cell E10. I normally don’t think absolute and relative cell references are difficult, until I try and mix them in one formula with two cell references.
You’ll notice that B2 changes to B3, B4, B5, and A2 changes to A3, A4, A5 when copied down. As we copy the formula in cell C2 all the way down to cell C5, both of these cell references change automatically. When I copy this formula across to C3, D3,and E3 you’ll notice the row stays the same, but the column reference changes.


The cell reference for B7 is an absolute reference, which is needed because the Tax Rate is fixed in one place.
The reference to cell B7 is modified by using the dollar sign ($) before the column and row reference.
The other two cell references are still relative references and change as the formula is copied down. What this means is that the reference to cell B7 needs only an absolute row reference for this formula to work. Copying the formula across changes the first two cell references, but not the cell reference for Tax Rate. Instead of manually typing in the dollar sign ($) there’s a shortcut to changing the cell reference. Select the cell reference you want change and press the F4 button to toggle through the different states. Side 2 data is fixed in column B and since copying across will change the column reference, I’ll put a dollar sign ($) in front of the column B reference to make it absolute. Click the Paste drop-down from the Home menu and hold the mouse over the Paste as Formulas icon to see a preview of what the paste operation will look like (new in Excel 2010) then click to complete. I’ve dealt strictly with cell references here, but ranges can also be relative, absolute, or mixed references.


When you have a formula that references Table1[Pay] and you select the cell in which that formula is entered and expand that cell, so that the formula will be in more cells to the right of the original cell, the column in the formula will change!
Yeah, I noticed that if you just keep copying the formula to the right, it will repeat each column in the entire table over and over again.
Disclosure: Products and services that are discussed, recommended or linked from my site may pay me a referral commission for your purchase or your visit. As you see below, B$7 is now the cell reference and row 7 will not change when you copy the formula down. As we learned above, copying down will change the row reference so I’ll put a dollar sign ($) in front of the reference to row 2 to make it absolute. If you add more data to the bottom of the table, the absolute reference changes to include all rows of the table. Select a cell to modify, then enter Edit mode by pressing the F2 button or use the mouse to click inside the formula bar.
So unless you want to refer to data that is below the table, there’s no change needed to your formula.



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