# Absolute, Relative and Mixed References

*Formulae in Excel contain references to other cells or ranges of cells. There are three types of references that can be used: absolute, relative or mixed.*

#### What are absolute, relative and mixed references?

When we create a formula in Excel we typically reference other cells to bring the values from those cells into our formula.

The referencing of the cell can be *relative, absolute or mixed. *The type of cell reference is only important when you copy (or drag) the formula from one cell to another.

#### How do I create absolute, relative and mixed references in Excel?

Absolute and mixed referencing is applied by putting a $ symbol before the letter (column) or the number (row) in the cell reference.

The F4 function key is a shortcut for cycling through the references:

- Absolute reference
- Row reference
- Column reference
- Relative reference

#### Let's look at each of them in turn:

Relative cell reference

Both the row and column references are free to change when the formula is copied to another cell.

Example: =A1

*Note that there is not a $ symbol in front of the letter (column) or the number (row).*

Absolute cell reference

Both the row and column references are fixed and do not change when the formula is copied to another cell.

Example: =$A$1

*Note that the $ symbol is in front of both the letter (column) and number (row).*

Mixed - Row cell reference

The row reference is fixed and does not change when the formula is copied to another cell.

Example of fixed row: =A$1

Note that the $ symbol is in front of both the letter (column) and number (row).

Mixed - Column cell reference

The column reference is fixed and does not change when the formula is copied to another cell.

Example of fixed column: =$A1

*Note that the $ symbol is in front of the letter (column).*

Read more about the absolute and relative references in Excel on the Microsoft support page here.