# Lesson: Relative Addresses

Lesson created by instructor Francisco L. Gonzalez

**Learning Objective:** By the end of this lesson you will know what a relative cell reference is, and how relative references change when copied. A relative cell reference is a cell references that when copied, the copied reference is adjusted depending on the displacement of the copy.

- Every cell in an Excel spreadsheet has column-row location. This is the location of the cell within the spreadsheet.
- For example: cell A1 is located at column A and row 1.
- This column-row location is like an XY coordinate.
- You can copy the formula of a cell to another cell.
- Below, cell A1 has a formula written inside: = B1 + C1, as explained in the picture below.

**Hints:**

**To see the formula inside a cell, click the cell press CTRL+` (Control key + Tilde). The picture below shows the effect of the CTRL+`**

**To go back to normal spreadsheet view click press CTRL+` again.**

**When we copy a formula from one cell to another is when we see the effect of the copied formula.**

**Now, analyze what happened when the formula inside cell ****A1 was copied to cell A7. Notice that the copy was in the same column, but to row 7. See picture below.**

- A relative cell reference is a cell references that when copied, the copied reference is adjusted depending on the displacement of the copy.
- Because a reference refers to a cell or a range of cells, the formula results are automatically recalculated when the data is changed in the referenced cell(s).
- In regards to column, we see that the formula retains the same columns
- Because we copied to row 7, the formula has the row reference recalculated to 7 and now the formula is = B7 + C7
**Analyze what happened when the formula inside cell****A1 was copied to cell B12. Now the copy has displacement on column and row.**- Notice that in regards to column,
**there is a displacement of one cell to the right**, hence the formula has the columns bumped up by one column.

**Excel will recalculate the formula that is being copied into cell B12. This recalculation will affect column and row, according to the displacements.**

- The original formula inside A1 is: =B1+C1
- The copy is to cell B12. It has a displacement of 1 for the column and a displacement of 12 for the row.
- This mean that the copied formula will bump the column sides of the formula by 1 and the row sides of the formula by 12.
- This results in the formula copied to be = C12+D12

**The visual below will help to see the displacement:**

** A1 is: = B1 + C1 is copied to cell B12**

__Key Learning:__

**When relative cell references are copied from one cell to another, the formulas are updated to reflect the displacement in columns and rows.**

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