In Excel cell function and references are helpful to better understand Excel spreadsheets. Use Excel cell reference functions as well.
Whenever you work with Excel, you'll enter information—or content—into cells. Cells are the basic building blocks of a worksheet. You'll need to learn the basics of cells and cell content to calculate, analyze, and organize data in Excel.
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Watch the video below to learn more about the basics of working with cells.
Every worksheet is made up of thousands of rectangles, which are called cells. A cell is the intersection of a row and a column—in other words, where a row and column meet.
Columns are identified by letters (A, B, C), while rows are identified by numbers (1, 2, 3). Each cell has its own name—or cell address—based on its column and row. In the example below, the selected cell intersects column C and row 5, so the cell address is C5.
Note that the cell address also appears in the Name box in the top-left corner, and that a cell's column and row headings are highlighted when the cell is selected.
You can also select multiple cells at the same time. A group of cells is known as a cell range. Rather than a single cell address, you will refer to a cell range using the cell addresses of the first and last cells in the cell range, separated by a colon. For example, a cell range that included cells A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5 would be written as A1:A5. Take a look at the different cell ranges below:
If the columns in your spreadsheet are labeled with numbers instead of letters, you'll need to change the default reference style for Excel. Review our Extra on What are Reference Styles? to learn how.
To input or edit cell content, you'll first need to select the cell.
You can also select cells using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Sometimes you may want to select a larger group of cells, or a cell range.