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

Checking Your Data File

When you get ready to merge a document with a data source, you'll want to make sure that everything is "as expected" before ...

Discover More

A Real AutoSave

When you enable AutoSave in Word, it doesn't really save your document; it just saves a temporary file that allows your ...

Discover More

Dealing with Small Time Values

It is no secret that you can store time values in an Excel worksheet. But do you really know how small of a time value you ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Turning Off Insert Options

When you insert rows, columns, or cells in a worksheet, does the resulting Insert Options icon bother you? Here's how to get ...

Discover More

Turning Off AutoFill for a Workbook

Don't want people using your workbook to be able to use AutoFill? You can add two quick macros that disable and enable the ...

Discover More

Correcting a Capital Mistake

As you are entering data in a worksheet, Excel can monitor what you type and make corrections for common mistakes. One such ...

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 nine more than 2?

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


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
Share