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Use Absolute References to Prevent Errors in Excel

Preventing errors using absolute references provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught … Show More

Excel 2010 Essential Training

with Bob Flisser

Video: Use Absolute References to Prevent Errors in Excel

Preventing errors using absolute references provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Bob Flisser as part of the Excel 2010 Essential Training
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  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis ToolPak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye

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Preventing errors using absolute references
Video duration: 5m 57s 6h 21m Beginner


Preventing errors using absolute references provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Bob Flisser as part of the Excel 2010 Essential Training

Business Education + Elearning

Preventing errors using absolute references

We've added numbers across. We've added numbers down. We did some more statistical information down there on the lower rows, but there's something else here that we really want to do. And let's take a look here. We have a grand total for all of the trips that we took in the first quarter. And we also have the total of each individual trip. Kind of think of a pie chart. If you're going to do a pie chart, and you want to know how much did each of the cities contribute to the grand total, you'd come out with a percent. So that's what we want to figure out here in Column F, is what percentage did each city contribute to our total expense for all of our travel? So let's go here to F5 and just type Percent or maybe Percent of Total.

And if you want, you can take Column F and stretch it out. When you get that two headed arrow you could double-click and stretch that out. Well this is simple division, but things could go a little haywire. And I'm going to do this in two ways. First, we're going to do it the wrong way. You'll see there's a problem. Once we identify the problem, we'll delete it. We'll go back and do it the right way. So let's start here in Cell F6. And we're going to say Equals. And we want to take the total for the first city for San Francisco, divide, so you type a forward slash and divide by what? Well, divide by the grand total.

So we have E6/E14, the total of San Francisco divided by the grand total for all the travel. And just press Enter. And we could see that San Francisco contributed to about 15% of all our travel. First thing we want to do though is let's fix it. Rather than making it 0.14 or some horrible number, let's make it look like percentages. So we could simply select all of these cells here from San Francisco down to the Total. And to make it look like percentages, we want to be on the Home tab and over here in the Number section, click this Percent and that will make it percent style.

So we can see it's 15%. Now maybe you want some decimals in there. So over here you have these two little buttons here, and if you click this one, this will increase the decimals that it displays and if you click this button here next to it, it'll decrease the decimals that display. Keep in mind this is not actually rounding the numbers off. This is just formatting. Excel is still calculating based on that whole long number. Okay, that's great. So we see it's about 14.9%. Now here's where things can go a little haywire. You figure okay, great.

I don't have to do this for every single row. I can just take my Auto Fill and I'll drag down here to the total, hoping that I'll get 100%. Look at this. What we have is 100% garbage. Why is that? Well, let's click the first number we did, okay E6/E14, total of San Fran divided by the grand total. That's great. What's happening here? Here this is E7, the Los Angeles total. That's great. Divided by the average. Now it's kind of meaningless. And over here we have the Philadelphia total, E8/E16.

Again, meaningless. Now by time we get down here, we've got these divided by zero errors. So what's happening is when we took that Auto Fill and we dragged down, remember these were relative references. And Excel rewrote the formula for us the way it was designed to do. Changing the numerator, changing the denominator, and maybe let's press Ctrl+Tilde and we can see this a little more clearly. So it changes E6 to E7 to E8 to E9. That's great. But the denominator, it's changing E14 to E15, E16-- well it doesn't make a lot of sense.

What we want to do is we want to find someway that when we Auto Fill down at the column, the numerator changes from E6 to 7, 8, 9 but denominator stays fixed on 14. I'll just press Ctrl+Tilde, so we get back. Well, let's just delete all the stuff. Select those cells and delete. Let's go back here to F6. Now that we see what the problem is, let's go and do it the right way. It's going to be just a slight difference. So we type Equals, again the San Fran total, use the forward slash divided by the grand total there.

But don't enter it yet. Press the F4 key on your keyboard. When you press F4, you notice that it changes the denominator because that's where the cursor is from E14 to $E$14. This is an absolute reference. How is it an absolute reference? Well $E means stay fixed on Column E. $14 means stay fixed on Row 14, which is just another way of saying stay fixed on Cell E14. Well press the F4 key again and notice this changes a little bit to E$14.

So it's plain E, meaning that Excel can wear off Column E if necessary but still fixed on Row 14. Press F4 again. That's just kind of the reverse. Now we have $E14. $E meaning we're fixed on Column E, 14 meaning, well, it can veer off. Press F4 again, and it cycles back to the beginning. This is a purely relative reference. One last time press the F4 key. Normally you don't have to go through all this. I just wanted you to see what the options are. So we have E6/$E$14.

Now press Ctrl+Enter, and now get your Auto Fill handle and fill down to Row 14. Now we have some numbers that make sense. And this here, of course, we're diving 0 by the number. So we can just delete that. Well, press Ctrl+Tilde and let's take a look at what we have here. So our numerator changes E6 to E7 to E8. That's the way it did before. That's the way we want it and now because we have $E$14, those dollar signs make the Column E and the Row 14 fixed and when we get down to the last one, of course the number divided by itself is 100%.

So that is what an absolute reference is. If you've never seen this before, I know it might be a little confusing but absolute references are absolutely necessary because Excel uses them in many different places and we'll see them later in this course.

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