In Excel complex formulas can include several operations. Use complex formulas in Excel to calculate more extensive data.

### Absolute references

There may be times when you do not want a cell reference to change when copying or filling cells. You can use an **absolute reference** to keep a row and/or column constant in the formula.

An absolute reference is designated in the formula by the addition of a **dollar sign ($)**. It can precede the column reference, the row reference, or both.

In the below example, we want to calculate the sales tax for a list of products with varying prices. We'll use an absolute reference for the sales tax ($B$1) because we do not want it to change as we are copying the formula down the column of varying prices.

#### To create and copy a formula using an absolute reference:

- Select the first cell where you want to enter the formula (
**C4**, for example). Selecting cell C4 - Type an equals sign, and then click the cell that contains the first
**value** you want in the formula (**B4**, for example). - Type the first
**mathematical operator** (the multiplication sign, for example). - Type the
**dollar sign ($)**, then enter the **column letter** of the cell you are making an absolute reference to (**B**, for example). Entering formula - Type the
**dollar sign ($)**, then enter the **row number** of the same cell you are making an absolute reference to (**1**, for example). Entering formula - Press
**Enter** to calculate the formula. Result in C4 - Select the cell you want to copy (
**C4**, for example), then click the **Copy** command from the **Home** tab. - Select the cells where you want to paste the formula, then click the
**Paste** command from the **Home** tab. You can also drag the fill handle to fill cells. Values calculated in C5:C8 - Your formula is copied to the selected cells using the absolute reference (C5=B5*$B$1, C6=B6*$B$1, etc.), and your values are calculated.

When writing a formula, you can press the **F4** key on your keyboard to switch between relative and absolute cell references. This is an easy way to quickly insert an absolute reference.