# Convert Cell Reference to Relative/Absolute Reference in Excel

In this article, you will learn how to Convert Cell References to Relative/Absolute References in Excel. In Excel, cell references can be either relative or absolute.

A relative reference changes based on its position when it is copied or filled, while an absolute reference remains constant. Converting cell references from relative to absolute or vice versa can be useful when creating formulas or manipulating data in Excel.

To convert a cell reference from relative to absolute, you can add a dollar sign (\$) before the column letter and row number of the cell reference. For example, if you want to make cell B2 absolute, you would write it as \$B\$2. This means that when the formula or cell reference is copied or filled, the reference to B2 will remain constant.

To convert a cell reference from absolute to relative, simply remove the dollar signs (\$). For example, if you want to make \$B\$2 relative, you would write it as B2. This means that when the formula or cell reference is copied or filled, the reference to B2 will adjust based on its new position.

Note: It’s important to note that you can also use a mix of absolute and relative references in a single formula by only adding a dollar sign before either the column letter or row number. For example, if you want to make the column absolute but keep the row relative, you would write it as \$B2. This means that when the formula or cell reference is copied or filled, the column reference to B will remain constant, while the row reference will adjust based on its new position.

## Convert Cell Reference to Relative/Absolute Reference in Excel

• Relative Reference: A relative reference changes when the formula is copied to a new location. For example, if you have a formula in cell A1 that references cell B1, and you copy the formula to cell A2, the reference to B1 will change to B2. To make a cell reference relative, simply leave it as it is.
• Absolute Reference: An absolute reference remains the same when the formula is copied to a new location. To make a cell reference absolute, add a “\$” sign before the column letter and/or row number. For example, if you have a formula in cell A1 that references cell B1, and you want to make the reference to B1 absolute, you would write it as \$B\$1. If you only want to make the column absolute, you would write it as \$B1, and if you only want to make the row absolute, you would write it as B\$1.
• Mixed Reference: A mixed reference is a combination of a relative reference and an absolute reference. For example, if you have a formula in cell A1 that references cell B1, and you want to make the column absolute but leave the row relative, you would write it as \$B1. Similarly, if you want to make the row absolute but leave the column relative, you would write it as B\$1.

To change the reference type of an existing formula, simply click on the cell reference in the formula bar and add or remove the “\$” signs as needed. Alternatively, you can use the F4 key to cycle through the different reference types (e.g. relative, absolute, mixed) for the selected cell reference.

## Change Cell Reference to Relative/Absolute Reference with Kutools

To change cell reference to relative or absolute reference in an Excel spreadsheet, follow the below steps.

• Step 1: First, you must select a range to which you want to convert the cell references.
• Step 2: In the below example image, you can see the original cell references in column c.
• Step 3: On the Kutools tab, select the More option, and choose the Convert Refers option from the menu.
• Step 4: Then, it will open the Convert Formula References dialog box.
• Step 5: Convert formula references – In this section, you need to choose any one of the options you need. Here, we choose To absolute option.
• Step 6: Finally, click the OK button to convert the cell reference and close the dialog box.
• Step 7: At last, you can see the result as shown in the below image.

There are several advantages of converting cell references to relative or absolute references in Excel:

• Accuracy: Absolute references ensure that the same cell is always used in a formula, regardless of its position on the worksheet. This is particularly useful when working with large datasets or when creating complex formulas.
• Consistency: By using absolute references, you can ensure that a specific cell is always used in a formula, regardless of where the formula is copied. This can help maintain consistency in your calculations and prevent errors.
• Reusability: By converting cell references to absolute or mixed references, you can reuse formulas in different parts of your worksheet, saving time and effort.
• Automation: By using relative references, you can automate repetitive tasks such as filling a column with a formula. This can save time and improve efficiency.
• Flexibility: Using a mix of relative and absolute references allows you to create formulas that can be easily copied and pasted to other cells without having to manually adjust each reference. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors.

Overall, converting cell references to relative or absolute references in Excel provides greater flexibility, accuracy, consistency, reusability, and automation, all of which can help you work more efficiently and effectively with your data.

There are several advantages to converting cell references to relative or absolute references in Excel, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:

• Increased chance of errors: If you’re not careful when using mixed references, you can easily introduce errors into your formulas. For example, forgetting to lock a row or column reference can result in incorrect results.
• Reduced flexibility: Using absolute references can make it more difficult to adapt your formulas to changes in your data. If you add or remove rows or columns, you may need to adjust your formulas manually to ensure they still work correctly.
• Reduced reusability: Using absolute references can make it more difficult to reuse formulas in different parts of your worksheet, as you may need to adjust the references manually each time.
• Increased complexity: Using mixed references can make formulas more complex and difficult to understand, particularly for users who are not familiar with Excel’s referencing system.
• Increased maintenance: If you have a large worksheet with many formulas using mixed or absolute references, maintaining those formulas can be time-consuming and may require significant effort to update.

Overall, while converting cell references to relative or absolute references in Excel can provide benefits such as increased accuracy and efficiency, it is important to be aware of the potential downsides as well. To minimize these disadvantages, it’s important to use referencing techniques carefully and to thoroughly test your formulas to ensure they work correctly.

## Conclusion

In this article, converting cell references in Excel from relative to absolute or vice versa is a simple but powerful tool that allows for greater flexibility and accuracy when creating formulas and manipulating data. By adding or removing dollar signs before the column letter and row number of a cell reference, you can make it either relative or absolute, or use a combination of both in a single formula. This allows you to create more complex formulas and easily manipulate data while ensuring that your formulas remain accurate and up-to-date when copied or filled. For more articles, you can visit our homepage.

## Video Tutorial

Here is the video tutorial for converting cell references in Excel from relative to absolute for your better understanding.

## FAQ

What is the difference between a relative and absolute cell reference in Excel?

A relative cell reference in Excel changes based on its position when it is copied or filled, while an absolute cell reference remains constant.

How do I convert a cell reference from relative to absolute in Excel?

To convert a cell reference from relative to absolute in Excel, you can add a dollar sign (\$) before the column letter and row number of the cell reference. For example, \$B\$2 is an absolute reference to cell B2.

How do I convert a cell reference from absolute to relative in Excel?

To convert a cell reference from absolute to relative in Excel, you simply remove the dollar signs from the cell reference. For example, B2 is a relative reference to cell B2.

Can I use a mix of absolute and relative references in a single formula in Excel?

Yes, you can use a mix of absolute and relative references in a single formula in Excel. This is called a mixed reference, and it allows you to lock a specific part of the cell reference while allowing other parts to adjust relative to the position of the formula.

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