Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Reference Shortcut.

Reference Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 7, 2016)

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 (2114) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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

Selective Formatting using Find and Replace

The Find and Replace tool in Word allows you to check for formatting in what you search for and use formatting in your ...

Discover More

Understanding the COMPARE Field

The COMPARE field is rather esoteric, but it can be helpful when you need to compare two values using fields. The result of ...

Discover More

Changing the Hidden Attribute for a File

Windows maintains a set of attributes that describe and control characteristics of your files. Here's how to change the one ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Limiting Choices in a Cell

Want to limit what a person can enter into a particular cell? You can use Excel's data validation feature to help enforce ...

Discover More

Displaying a Hidden First Row

If you hide the first rows of a worksheet, you may have a hard time getting those rows visible again. Here's a simple way to ...

Discover More

Checking for a Value in a Cell

Need to figure out if a cell contains a number so that your formula makes sense? (Perhaps it would return an error if the ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 two more than 9?

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 menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.

Links and Sharing