Toggle Between Relative and Absolute Cell References in Excel With F4


Q: My partner says there’s an F4 shortcut to creating absolute cell references in Excel formulas, but for the life of me I can’t make it work. What am I doing wrong?


A: Your partner is right, but while I can’t tell you what you’re doing wrong, I can tell you how to do it right.


When you type the cell reference in your formula, press F4. For example, in the formula =A6*B7, press F4 right after you type the 6 and the absolute reference $ will appear. Press F4 again after you type the 7—and voìla:


Wait, there’s more. If you continue to press F4 when your cursor is just to the right of A6, the formula will toggle between relative and absolute references through four options in this order: A6, $A$6, A$6, $A6.



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