# Relative vs absolute dating worksheet

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Let’s get some complexity out of the way up front. In reality, there are a whopping five different possible values for the position property. We’ll largely skip over inherit because it’s pretty self explanatory (simply inherits the value of its parent) and isn’t really supported well in older versions of IE.

* by Karyn
Stille *
Excel uses two types of
cell references to create formulas. Each has its own purpose.
Read on to determine which type of cell reference to use for your
formula.
Relative Cell
References
This is the most widely
used type of cell reference in formulas. Relative cell references
are basic cell references that adjust and change when copied or when using
AutoFill.
Example:
=SUM(B5:B8), as shown
below, changes to =SUM(C5:C8) when copied across to the next cell.
Absolute Cell
References
Situations arise in
which the cell reference must remain the same when copied or when using
AutoFill. Dollar signs are used to hold a column and/or row
reference constant.
Example:
In the example below,
when calculating commissions for sales staff, you would not want cell B10
to change when copying the formula down. You want both the column
and the row to remain the same to refer to that exact cell. By using
$B$10 in the formula, neither changes when copied.
A more complicated
example:
Let's pretend that you
need to calculate the prices of items in stock with two different price
discounts. Take a look at the worksheet below.
Examine the formula in
cell E4. By making the first cell reference $C4, you keep the column from
changing when copied across, but allow the row to change when copying down
to accommodate the prices of the different items going down. By
making the last cell reference A$12, you keep the row number from changing
when copied down, but allow the column to change and reflect discount B
when copied across. Confused? Check out the graphics below and
the cell results.
Copied
Across

Copied
Down

Now, you
might be thinking, why not just use 10% and 15% in the actual
formulas? Wouldn't that be easier? Yes, if you are sure the discount
percentages will never change - which is highly unlikely. It's more
likely that eventually those percentages will need to be adjusted.
By referencing the * cells* containing 10% and 15% and not the actual
numbers, when the percentage changes all you need to do is change the
percentage one time in cell A12 and/or B12 instead of rebuilding all of
your formulas. Excel would automatically update the discount prices to
reflect your discount percentage change.
Summary of
absolute cell reference uses:
$A1
Allows the row reference to
change, but not the column reference.
A$1
Allows the column reference
to change, but not the row reference.
$A$1
Allows neither the column
nor the row reference to
change.
There is a shortcut for placing absolute cell references in your
formulas!
When you are typing your formula, after you type a cell reference -
press the F4 key. Excel automatically makes the cell
reference absolute! By continuing to press F4 , Excel will
cycle through all of the absolute reference possibilities. For
example, in the first absolute cell reference formula in this tutorial,
=B4*$B$10, I could have typed, =B4*B10, then pressed the F4 key to
change B10 to $B$10. Continuing to press F4 would have
resulted in B$10, then $B10, and finally B10. Pressing F4 changes
only the cell reference directly to the left of your insertion point.
I hope this tutorial has made these cell reference types "absolutely"
clear!
Microsoft Office Tutorials

http://

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Relative vs absolute dating worksheet