What is cell reference in Excel

In this lesson you can learn about types of cell references in Excel.

Types of references

In Excel, there are three types of references:

Relative reference

is a reference to the relative position of the cell that contains the formula and the cells to which it refers. When you change the position of the cell that contains, the formula changes the reference. By default, new formulas use relative reference. For example, if you copy a relative reference one cell down it will automatically change from =A1 to =A2

Absolute reference

is an absolute cell reference in a specific location. When you change the position of the cell containing the formula, the absolute reference remains unchanged. When you copy the formula across rows or columns, the absolute reference doesn't match it. To change the relative reference to absolute, use the $ symbol. For example, if you copied the absolute reference, reference =$A$1 doesn't change.

Mixed reference

is an absolute reference to the column and relative to the row, or absolute to the row and relative to the column. Absolute column reference looks like that: $A1, $B1. Absolute reference to row looks like that: A$1, B$1. When you change the position of the cell containing the formula, the relative reference changes, and the absolute reference does not change. When you copy a formula in rows or columns, the relative reference is automatically matched, and the absolute reference does not match. For example, if you copy a mixed reference one cell right it will match the appeal of =A$1 to =B$1.

In one formula you can use both relative reference and absolute.

A quick way to convert addressing mode is to press the F4 keyboard shortcut. Pressing this key changes the address. Of course, you can type the $ (dollar) sign from the keyboard.

Further reading: 
Status Bar
Display Cells Containing Formulas