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How to keep formula cell reference constant in Excel?

When you use relative cell reference in a formula, it will automatically adjust when you use the Fill Handle to apply it to a different location or copy and paste it to another cells. See below screenshot shows.
In many cases, you would like the cell reference staying constant rather than adjusting automatically. In this tutorial, we will show you how to keep formula cell reference constant in Excel.


Keep formula cell reference constant with the F4 key

To keep cell reference constant in formula, you just need to add the $ symbol to the cell reference with pressing the F4 key. Please do as follows.

1. Select the cell with the formula you want to make it constant.

2. In the Formula Bar, put the cursor in the cell which you want to make it constant, then press the F4 key.

In this case, I don’t want the cell reference A1 to be adjusted with the formula moving, so I put the cursor on A1 in the formula, and then press F4. See screenshot:

Then you can see the cell reference A1 is constant in the formula.


Easily keep formula cell reference constant with several clicks only

Here highly recommend the Kutools for Excel's Convert Refers utility. This feature helps you easily convert all formula references in bulk in a selected range or multiple ranges to a specific type of formula reference. Such as convert relative to absolute, absolute to relative and so on.
Download Kutools for Excel Now! ( 30-day free trail)

Let's see how to use this feature to easily keep formula cell reference constant in Excel.

1. After installing Kutools for Excel, please click Kutools > More >  Convert Refers to activate the Convert Formula References feature.

2. When the Convert Formula References dialog box pops up, please configure as follows.

  • Select a range or multiple ranges (hold on the Ctrl key to select multiple ranges one by one) you want to make the references constant;
  • Choose the To absolute option;
  • Click the OK button.

Then all the relative cell references in selected range are changed to constant references immediately.

  If you want to have a free trial ( 30-day) of this utility, please click to download it, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.


Demo: Keep formula cell reference constant with Kutools for Excel


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Comments (10)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Financial ratios are one of the most common tools of managerial decision making. A ratio is a comparison of one number to another—mathematically, a simple division problem. Financial ratios involve the comparison of various figures from the financial statements in order to gain information about a company's performance. It is the interpretation, rather than the calculation, that makes financial ratios a useful tool for business managers. Ratios may serve as indicators, clues, or red flags regarding noteworthy relationships between variables used to measure the firm's performance in terms of profitability, asset utilization, liquidity, leverage, or market valuation.
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Does not work. If I insert a row above the cell, the formula "tracks" the cell to its new location. This is not what your title implies. I need a formula that reads = B1 and if data gets inserted into row B:B then the formula reads = B1 and returns the new value. Absolute referencing does not do this.
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Andrew, that is exactly what I want too..... how can we hold the cell reference Completely constant in these circumstances?
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Use the INDEX() function and for the Array use a range of columns to cover all your data (assuming no column inserts/deletes will happen)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Andrew, Martin! .....I came here for something else but I think I've got what you need.  You can also reference cells using the INDIRECT() function. For your case, if you go to cell C1 (or wherever) and set the equation in C1 to be =INDIRECT("B1"), then it will always return whatever is in B1, no matter what happens to B1. So then, if you insert a column of data into column B, your equation would move over to cell D1, and would continue to pull data from the brand new value in B1. The older referenced value is now in C1, with the column of data before. You can also perform mathematic operations on it as you would any other cell reference. Happy Spreadsheets :)
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Superb.....
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That Kutools "Convert Formula References" is perfect, exactly what I need. Unfortunately I can't install that, but it's nice to know someone else needed it and made an extension for it. At least it gives me some closure knowing I'll never find it in base Excel haha. Thanks.
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Hi Austin,Did you get any error prompt when installing Kutools for Excel? 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Crystal! Oh, thanks for asking. I was on my Work PC so I knew I would be unable to install anything like this without going through the process of getting it approved with IT, presenting a solid reason to the team as to why we need to pay for additional software, etc. It would be a major headache, and I'm certain I would lose the argument. (Make no mistake, I'm all for it) But, unfortunately I settled for the smaller headache of doing what Kutools' "Convert Formula References" process would do, to a few hundred cells by hand. When I've made it to the big leagues, and I'm the boss, I'll ensure that my whole team is outfitted with Kutools. It's an awesome addition, for sure. 
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Hi Austin314,Thank you very much for your feedback and I look forward to the day when your whole team is outfitted with Kutools.^_^
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