A relative reference means that the row or column reference is relative to the referencing cell and, when the formula is copied to other cells, the relative cell references are shifted such that the distance or offset between the referencing cell and the referenced cell remains the same. An absolute cell reference means that the row or column reference is fixed and does not change when the formula is copied to other cells.

With the A1 reference style a dollar sign is used to create an absolute reference. For example, the cell reference A$1, when copied to other cells, will always reference row 1 but the column may change if copied to another column. The cell reference $A$1 will allays reference cell A1 regardless of where it is copied.

Whether a row or column is an absolute or relative reference makes no difference in how the formula is calculated or the result it produces. They only have different effects when formulas are copied to other cells. For this reason, the decision as to whether cell references are absolute or relative should be made with regard to whether or not the formula will be copied to other cells. While entering each cell reference in a formula, consider how the referenced cell should be treated as the formula is copied to other rows and columns. If the referenced cell's row should be the same then make the row an absolute reference by placing a dollar sign in front of the row number. If the column should be the same then place a dollar sign in front of the column letter.

Note that relative references are not shifted when a formula is moved by either cutting and pasting or by dragging. Relative cell references are only adjusted when cells are copied.

Kevin