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Copying a formula for adjacent cells

From: Excel 2013 Essential Training

Video: Copying a formula for adjacent cells

In this worksheet CopyFormulas, in the workbook 03-Creating Formulas and Functions, we've got a formula in cell B4 and we need to have that same kind of formula in cell C4, D4, all the way over into G4. Now, if we talk about copying a formula, you might say, "well, we don't want this exact formula to be copied into column C, because we would get the same answer, we get a 20". In column C we want to subtract these two cells. Many, many times when you've written a formula in Excel, you need to copy it across a row into adjacent cells or in some cases down a column.

Copying a formula for adjacent cells

In this worksheet CopyFormulas, in the workbook 03-Creating Formulas and Functions, we've got a formula in cell B4 and we need to have that same kind of formula in cell C4, D4, all the way over into G4. Now, if we talk about copying a formula, you might say, "well, we don't want this exact formula to be copied into column C, because we would get the same answer, we get a 20". In column C we want to subtract these two cells. Many, many times when you've written a formula in Excel, you need to copy it across a row into adjacent cells or in some cases down a column.

What we would like to see here of course is the answer 30 and the answer 50 over here and so on. We need to copy a formula. Fortunately, the way that Excel copies formulas is that it really copies the relationship and that's an unusual way of saying it, but in this formula right here, a different way of phrasing it is, this formula subtracts the two cells above it--top cell minus the cell below it. Do we want to do same thing here? Of course we do, this cell minus this one. When we copy a formula, we're gong to be repeating the same kind of relationship.

Now, the are various methods for copying data including formulas, but surely the best way to copy a formula into adjacent cells is to use the so-called Fill Handle in the lower right-hand corner. This cell that contains a formula that subtracts the two cells above it can be copied rightward, simply by clicking and dragging this fill handle to the right. As we let go, you certainly see correct answers and of course we want to check these out just to make sure in C4, what does our formula say, double-clicking, I can certainly see that's doing the right thing.

How about column E over here? Double click, that's exactly what we want it to say and so on, every one of these. Copying formulas really means copying the relationships between cells. In cell H2, we've got a total using a function, the SUM function. It tabulates the six cells to its left and we want to do the same thing in cell H2 for the "Overhead Expenses" and in cell H4 for the "Profits". Here too, we can use the Fill Handle, drag the formula--the function in H2-- downward into these two cells to get those answers.

Our Average is a calculation in cell I2 and double-clicking and looking at it we see that it's dividing the cell to its left by six and we want to do the same thing in the two cells below this. Here too, we'll drag from the lower right-hand corner. There are many, many situations in Excel where you write a single formula and then copy it into adjacent cells by using this Fill technique. We've seen it initially with a row and then two examples used with a column.

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Excel 2013 Essential Training

82 video lessons · 74761 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 6s
    1. Welcome
      43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 29m 37s
    1. What is Excel used for?
      1m 49s
    2. Using the menu system
      4m 30s
    3. The Quick Access Toolbar
      4m 41s
    4. The structure of a worksheet or workbook
      3m 41s
    5. Using the Formula bar
      1m 43s
    6. Using the Status bar
      2m 24s
    7. Navigation and mouse pointers
      2m 20s
    8. Shortcut menus and the Mini toolbar
      3m 24s
    9. Using the built-in help
      2m 54s
    10. Creating new files
      2m 11s
  3. 24m 1s
    1. Exploring data entry and editing techniques
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data with AutoFill
      4m 6s
    3. Working with dates and times
      3m 32s
    4. Using Undo and Redo
      4m 50s
    5. Adding comments
      2m 55s
    6. Using Save or Save As
      3m 57s
  4. 30m 7s
    1. Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages
      5m 25s
    2. Copying a formula for adjacent cells
      2m 54s
    3. Calculating year-to-date profits
      3m 9s
    4. Creating a percentage-increase formula
      4m 7s
    5. Working with relative, absolute, and mixed references
      4m 7s
    6. Using SUM and AVERAGE
      3m 25s
    7. Using other common functions
      7m 0s
  5. 46m 7s
    1. Exploring font styles and effects
      4m 7s
    2. Adjusting row heights and column widths
      3m 37s
    3. Working with alignment and Wrap Text
      4m 2s
    4. Designing borders
      3m 26s
    5. Exploring numeric and special formatting
      5m 36s
    6. Formatting numbers and dates
      4m 31s
    7. Conditional formatting
      4m 21s
    8. Creating and using tables
      9m 59s
    9. Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features
      6m 28s
  6. 20m 40s
    1. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
      4m 52s
    2. Hiding and unhiding rows and columns
      4m 2s
    3. Moving, copying, and inserting data
      5m 42s
    4. Finding and replacing data
      6m 4s
  7. 17m 51s
    1. Exploring the Page Layout tab and view
      7m 20s
    2. Previewing page breaks
      4m 56s
    3. Working with Page Setup and printing controls
      5m 35s
  8. 30m 30s
    1. Creating charts
      4m 36s
    2. Exploring chart types
      7m 47s
    3. Formatting charts
      5m 42s
    4. Working with axes, labels, gridlines, and other chart elements
      5m 35s
    5. Creating in-cell charts with sparklines
      6m 50s
  9. 12m 49s
    1. Freezing and unfreezing panes
      2m 39s
    2. Splitting screens horizontally and vertically
      4m 48s
    3. Showing necessary information with the Outlining feature
      5m 22s
  10. 23m 0s
    1. Displaying multiple worksheets and workbooks
      4m 17s
    2. Renaming, inserting, and deleting sheets
      2m 23s
    3. Moving, copying, and grouping sheets
      3m 39s
    4. Using formulas to link worksheets and workbooks
      6m 1s
    5. Locating and maintaining links
      6m 40s
  11. 20m 25s
    1. Using IF functions and relational operators
      3m 43s
    2. Getting approximate table data with the VLOOKUP function
      7m 6s
    3. Getting exact table data with the VLOOKUP function
      4m 42s
    4. Using the COUNTIF family of functions
      4m 54s
  12. 23m 50s
    1. Unlocking cells and protecting worksheets
      7m 50s
    2. Protecting workbooks
      2m 40s
    3. Assigning passwords to workbooks
      4m 41s
    4. Sharing workbooks
      4m 7s
    5. Tracking changes
      4m 32s
  13. 28m 32s
    1. Sorting data
      6m 9s
    2. Inserting subtotals in a sorted list
      8m 25s
    3. Using filters
      6m 16s
    4. Splitting data into multiple columns
      5m 4s
    5. Removing duplicate records
      2m 38s
  14. 35m 2s
    1. Creating PivotTables
      8m 36s
    2. Manipulating PivotTable data
      9m 47s
    3. Grouping by date and time
      6m 0s
    4. Grouping by other factors
      2m 33s
    5. Using slicers to clarify and manipulate fields
      4m 7s
    6. Using PivotCharts
      3m 59s
  15. 23m 29s
    1. Using Goal Seek
      6m 8s
    2. Using Solver
      6m 34s
    3. Using Scenario Manager
      6m 11s
    4. Using Data Tables
      4m 36s
  16. 24m 31s
    1. Definition and examples
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a simple macro
      7m 0s
    3. Running a macro
      10m 43s
  17. 29s
    1. Next steps
      29s

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