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How do I make an Excel formula that never changes, regardless of what happens to any referenced cells?

Posted on 2015-01-05
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Last Modified: 2015-01-05
Folks -

I am well aware of the difference between absolute and relative references.  I've stumbled on something I can't figure out how to make Excel do though.

Let us say I have a value of 10 in A2.

Let us say in A1, I type the formula: =$A$2

A1 and A2 should therefore reflect the value 10.

The absolute reference for the column and row in the formula in A1 means that if I cut and paste A1 around, it's formula will not change.  It will remain =$A$2.

What I want to figure out is how I get Excel to not change the formula in A1 if I move *A2* around.  In other words, if I cut A2 to somewhere else, I still want A1 to reflect =$A$2, rather than the location I moved A2 to, which is precisely how Excel behaves.

What I'm after is keeping a formula absolute, in all cases, regardless of what I do with its targeted cell(s).

Is this possible?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:amendala
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NBVC earned 500 total points
ID: 40532345
Try:

=INDIRECT("A2")
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 40532375
the content of A1 will always reflect the data in A2, if you change contents of A2, the change will be reflected in A1.
What your $A$2 means that when you copy and move A1 to any other location it will still reference the contents of A2 and will reflect that no matter where you paste it.
The only time A1 function as you have it is changed is when you insert a column or a row displacing the two items in the formula.or you cut and paste the contents of A2 somewhere else, the A1 formula will be adjusted to reflect the relocation of the cell.

Not sure whether you can lock the function to ignore mass worksheet change.
You could use/write a macro that I do not believe will be affected by excel "intuitive" adjustments as those are managed by VBA.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 40532423
The Indirect approach is what comes into mind - that should work. But Excel can no longer determine if the value has to change if there are changes to the sheet, so there is a performance if used extensively.
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Author Closing Comment

by:amendala
ID: 40532818
Perfect.  This is precisely what I was looking for and works exactly as intended for me.
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