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Excel Video 252 describes a relative cell reference, or a formula that changes the row and column references when it’s copied. Relative cell references are very common and very useful in Excel. For many formulas, you want the row and column references to change as the cell is copied.
There are occasions when you wouldn’t want the cell reference to change when a formula is copied. For example, if you forecast collections to increase by 4% next year for your top 100 CPT codes, rather than put the 4% increase is all 100 formulas for each CPT code, you’re better off having all 100 formulas reference one cell so that when you realize collections are actually going to decrease 5% you only have to change one cell from 4% to -5% for the entire spreadsheet to update. For all 100 formulas to reference the same cell, the formulas need to use what Excel calls an absolute reference, a cell reference that doesn’t change when the cell is copied. We’ll talk about how to create absolute cell references next time. Stay tuned.