Excel shortcuts

The Absolute Cell Reference Shortcut You Need to Know in Excel

If you're like most Excel users, you probably use cell references all the time. And if you're like most Excel users, you probably use a mix of relative and absolute cell references. Relative cell references are the default in Excel, and they adjust when you copy and paste formulas. Absolute cell references, on the other hand, don't adjust and are denoted by the dollar sign ($) in the cell reference. For example, the cell reference A$1 is an absolute reference to cell A1.

You can use the F4 key as a shortcut to toggle between relative and absolute cell references. When you select a cell reference, the dollar sign ($) appears in the formula bar. Pressing the F4 key cycles through the different reference options, as follows:

A1 (no dollar signs, the default or relative reference)

$A1 (absolute reference to column A)

A$1 (absolute reference to row 1)

$A$1 (absolute reference to cell A1)

This shortcut is especially handy when you're working with mixed references in a formula. For example, let's say you have a formula in cell A1 that references cell B1. The formula might look something like this:

=B1*2

If you want to make this an absolute reference, you could select the cell reference B1 in the formula and press the F4 key until it changes to $B$1. The resulting formula would look like this:

=$B$1*2

You can also use the F4 key shortcut on a range of cells. For example, if you have a formula that references cells A1:A5, you can select that range in the formula and press the F4 key until the cell references change to $A$1:$A$5.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the F4 key shortcut only works when a cell reference is selected. If you want to toggle between relative and absolute references for an entire range, you'll need to use a different shortcut.

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