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Using cell references

From: Numbers '09 Essential Training

Video: Using cell references

When copying formulas it's important to understand the difference between Relative and Absolute addresses. We'll start with our Utility Costs by Month table. Here we see a formula calculating the percent increase from one year to the next for our January column. When we click that cell, we can see the formula in the Formula Bar is using the values in the January column. Now if we use the Fill Handle in the bottom right corner of this cell and drag across to the right, we can copy the formula to the remaining cells.

Using cell references

When copying formulas it's important to understand the difference between Relative and Absolute addresses. We'll start with our Utility Costs by Month table. Here we see a formula calculating the percent increase from one year to the next for our January column. When we click that cell, we can see the formula in the Formula Bar is using the values in the January column. Now if we use the Fill Handle in the bottom right corner of this cell and drag across to the right, we can copy the formula to the remaining cells.

But notice the values come out different for each column. If we were to click for example cell F4 and look at the Formula Bar, it's using the values in the May column. Same goes for June, July and the other months of the year. This is known as Relative Addressing. Numbers is smart enough to use the cells in the column where the formula is getting copied to. But on occasion, you do not want to use Relative cell addresses. For example, in our Utility Costs by Type table, here we have a column, which will calculate the Total in U.S. Dollars. Let's click cell F2. In this case, the formula is going to be the Total multiplied by the Exchange Rate. So we'll start with an = sign, click the Total for 2007 and multiply that which is the asterisk by the value that appears in another table in cell B1.

Notice it's called Table 19 in this case and the formula is going to be whatever is in the Total 2007 cell multiplied by that Rate. When we accept this, we see the end result. Now if we use the Fill Handle to copy this formula down, let's see what happens. We don't see an actual answer. Instead we see a little marker representing some kind of error. We can click either one of those markers to view the error itself. Table 19::B2 isn't a valid reference. There is no cell B2. So Relative Addressing is trying to happen here but it's not working. So let's go back to cell F2.

In the Formula Bar, you can see we are going to use the Total for 2007, multiplied by the contents of B1 in Table 19. That's right, but we can make it Absolute. So when we copy this it will always use the cell B1 of Table 19, by clicking the Drop-down arrow to the right and choosing one of the Absolute options. Notice the checkmark next to Relative indicates it's the default. So we can use both the row and the column, in this case the cell that we want to use or we can freeze on a particular row or column. In this case, we want to use both.

So click the second the option, which is Absolute Row and Column. This rewrites our formula to include the dollar signs around the B and the 1, and now when we accept this, the same answer appears but when we go to copy it, click-and-drag, we get actual answers. For example, if we click cell F4 and look at our Formula Bar, it's using cell B1 of Table 19. Let's deselect the table by clicking the canvas. So Relative Addressing is the default when copying formulas but when you need to use the values in a row, column or even cell, remember these Absolute address options.

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Numbers '09 Essential Training

71 video lessons · 17350 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 1m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 7m 17s
    1. Launching Numbers and exploring templates
      2m 24s
    2. Exploring the user interface
      2m 45s
    3. Customizing the user interface
      2m 8s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. Creating and opening spreadsheets
      1m 12s
    2. Importing spreadsheets
      1m 48s
    3. Saving and exporting spreadsheets
      2m 39s
    4. Working with sheets
      3m 0s
    5. Laying out sheets
      3m 7s
    6. Headers, footers, and page numbering
      3m 50s
  4. 48m 42s
    1. Adding tables
      2m 43s
    2. Modifying tables
      2m 39s
    3. Working with content in table cells
      4m 55s
    4. Using controls
      5m 0s
    5. Working with rows and columns
      4m 59s
    6. Table headers and footers
      5m 24s
    7. Auto-filling table cells
      3m 50s
    8. Working with table cells
      3m 17s
    9. Using table categories
      4m 18s
    10. Reorganizing table data
      3m 7s
    11. Defining reusable tables
      3m 38s
    12. Copying tables
      2m 48s
    13. Using Address Book data
      2m 4s
  5. 14m 4s
    1. Using table styles
      2m 3s
    2. Overriding table styles
      1m 51s
    3. Redefining a table's style
      2m 31s
    4. Copying and pasting table styles
      2m 46s
    5. Creating, renaming, and deleting table styles
      3m 41s
    6. Using the default table style
      1m 12s
  6. 18m 24s
    1. Using formulas
      3m 47s
    2. Using the Formula bar and Formula Editor
      3m 52s
    3. Using cell references
      3m 25s
    4. Using functions
      4m 15s
    5. Using Formula List view
      3m 5s
  7. 32m 48s
    1. Adding a chart
      2m 42s
    2. Creating a mixed chart
      2m 33s
    3. Modifying chart data
      2m 23s
    4. Adding data to a chart from multiple tables
      2m 20s
    5. Changing a chart from one type to another
      2m 19s
    6. Formatting general chart attributes
      4m 56s
    7. Using trend lines and error bars
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a two-axis chart with different value scales
      2m 34s
    9. Formatting 3D charts
      5m 15s
    10. Linking charts to Pages and Keynote
      2m 25s
  8. 32m 56s
    1. Adding, removing, and selecting text
      3m 24s
    2. Formatting text
      4m 11s
    3. Formatting numbers
      6m 53s
    4. Conditional formatting
      3m 28s
    5. Using special characters
      3m 57s
    6. Using hyperlinks
      2m 33s
    7. Checking spelling
      4m 58s
    8. Find and Replace
      3m 32s
  9. 37m 25s
    1. Using text boxes
      5m 9s
    2. Copying text to a text box
      2m 26s
    3. Paragraph formatting
      3m 14s
    4. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 50s
    5. Working with shapes
      4m 29s
    6. Adding and adjusting images
      2m 46s
    7. Masking objects
      3m 50s
    8. Using Instant Alpha
      2m 0s
    9. Inserting media files
      3m 37s
    10. Aligning and layering objects
      6m 4s
  10. 11m 46s
    1. Printing a sheet
      4m 8s
    2. Password-protecting and emailing spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    3. Sharing spreadsheets with iWork.com
      4m 2s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Designing a template
      5m 26s
    2. Creating initial spreadsheet content
      2m 54s
    3. Creating media placeholders
      2m 33s
    4. Saving a custom template
      1m 44s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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