## You are learning Functions and Formulas in MS Excel

What is the difference between relative and absolute cell references?

Both relative and absolute cell references are used in Excel formulas to tell the program which cells to consider during calculations. However, they differ in how those references adjust when you copy the formula to a different location.

Relative References:

* Default: These are the most common type of cell reference.

* Behavior: When you copy a formula containing a relative reference, the reference adjusts based on the relative change in position between the original cell and the new location.

* Example: Imagine you have the formula `=A1+B1` in cell C2. This formula adds the values in cells A1 and B1. If you copy this formula to cell D3, Excel automatically adjusts it to `=B2+C2` because it's moved one column to the right and one row down relative to its original position.

Absolute References:

* Fixed Location: These references lock onto a specific cell location regardless of where the formula is copied.

* Creation: You can create an absolute reference by pressing F4 after entering the cell address in your formula or by adding a dollar sign ($) before the column letter and/or row number (e.g., $A$1, A$1, $A1).

* Behavior: When you copy a formula with an absolute reference, the reference remains unchanged in the new location.

* Example: Let's say you have the formula `=$A$1+B2` in cell C2. This formula adds the value in cell A1 (fixed with dollar signs) to the value in cell B2. If you copy this formula to D3, it will stay the same: `=$A$1+C3`. The reference to cell A1 remains absolute, while the reference to B2 adjusts relatively.

Choosing Between Relative and Absolute:

* Relative: Use relative references when you want the formula to adapt to its new position and continue calculations based on nearby cells. This is ideal for creating consistent patterns across rows or columns.

* Absolute: Use absolute references when you need to refer to a specific cell no matter where the formula is copied. This is helpful for fixed values like tax rates or referencing data in another sheet.

By understanding these differences, you can write accurate and adaptable formulas in your Excel spreadsheets.