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Guide to Using $ in Excel Formulas

There might be times when you do not want Excel to adjust all or part of your formula automatically. For example, you may have a table of standard multipliers that you use in the formula and want the same cell to always be used to multiply. The answer: an absolute reference.

You can create an absolute reference by using $ in Excel formulas. Insert $ to the left of the cell coordinate that you want to stay the same. If you want C2 to remain the same, then C2 becomes $C$2.

Cell References

Most of your formulas will refer to data in various cells in your worksheet. Your formula can refer to a cell’s data in one of the following ways:

Fred Pryor Seminars_Using $ in Excel Formulas_figure 1

Additional Help

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool with options for professionals in many different occupations. Because a limited post such as this can’t provide information on every possible formula, be sure to use the online help from within Microsoft Excel. In particular, the “Insert Function” tool on the “Formulas” ribbon will walk you through the functions and the required parameters.

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  • LuAnne Wilson says:

    Christy, last week I took the Excel Beyond the Basics class and was wondering if you can use the $ that is in the ribbon to insert into a formula.

    • Pryor Tips & Tricks says:

      You cannot use the ‘$’ from the ribbon because as soon as you begin to type out a formula, it shades out the ribbon making it unusable.
      What you can do instead is press F4 to get the same result. Just highlight the parts of the formula you want to have a ‘$’ in front of and press F4 and presto chango it’s good to go! This will place the ‘$’ in front of both the Column and the Row specifiers of the formula. If you want the ‘$’ just in front of the Column or just the Row, keep pressing F4. Good luck and thanks for reading!

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