Learn the difference between a relative absolute cell reference in Excel and an absolute cell reference in Excel in this free lesson.

### Introduction

#### Video: Cell References

Watch the video (5:26). Need help?There are two types of cell references:** relative** and **absolute**. Relative and absolute references behave differently when copied and filled to other cells. Relative references **change** when a formula is copied to another cell. Absolute references, on the other hand, remain **constant** no matter where they are copied.

Optional: Download our example file for this lesson.

### Relative references

By default, all cell references are **relative references**. When copied across multiple cells, they change based on the relative position of rows and columns. For example, if you copy the formula **=A1+B1** from row 1 to row 2, the formula will become** =A2+B2. **Relative references are especially convenient whenever you need to **repeat** the same calculation across multiple rows or columns.

#### To create and copy a formula using relative references:

In the following example, we want to create a formula that will multiply each item's **price** by the **quantity**. Rather than create a new formula for each row, we can create a single formula in cell **D2** and then copy it to the other rows. We'll use relative references so the formula correctly calculates the total for each item.

- Select the
**cell** that will contain the formula. In our example, we'll select cell **D2**. - Enter the
**formula** to calculate the desired value. In our example, we'll type **=B2*C2**.

- Press
**Enter **on your keyboard. The formula will be **calculated**, and the result will be displayed in the cell. - Locate the
** fill handle** in the lower-right corner of the desired cell. In our example, we'll locate the fill handle for cell **D2**. - Click, hold, and drag the
**fill handle** over the cells you wish to fill. In our example, we'll select cells **D3:D12**.

- Release the mouse. The formula will be
**copied** to the selected cells with **relative** **references** and the values will be calculated in each cell.

You can double-click the** filled cells** to check their formulas for accuracy. The relative cell references should be different for each cell, depending on its row.