Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Reference Shortcut.

Reference Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 14, 2017)

In past issues of ExcelTips you learned the differences between absolute and relative cell references. One of the shortcuts provided by Excel allows you to quickly cycle through the various forms of reference for a cell. All you need to do is position the insertion point in your formula somewhere within a reference you have entered. For instance, if you entered the cell reference B1, simply make sure the insertion point is before the B, after the B, or after the 1. You can then press the F4 key to start cycling.

Each time you press F4, Excel adds different permutations of the dollar sign ($). The first time you press, the reference becomes $B$1, the second time it is B$1, the third time it is $B1, and the fourth it is back to plain old B1.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12182) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Reference Shortcut.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Paragraph Numbers in Headers or Footers

If your documents routinely use numbered paragraphs, you may want to place the number of the page's first paragraph in ...

Discover More

Using Sequential Document Serial Numbers

Need to add a unique serial number to each printed copy of your document? Here's a quick way to print such numbered versions.

Discover More

References to Hyperlinks aren't Hyperlinks

Make a reference to a hyperlink in a formula, and you may be surprised that the reference doesn't return an active ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Working with Record Numbers

Want to keep track of various rows in a data table through the use of record numbers? Here are some options and ...

Discover More

Odd Arrow Key Behavior

Press the up or down arrow keys, and you expect Excel to change which cell is selected. If this doesn't occur on your ...

Discover More

Spotty Recalculation

Does your worksheet or workbook not always recalculate like you expect? If so, then some of the ideas in this tip may ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.