Absolute Reference in Excel (Shortcut)

Formulas in Excel often you cell references, which is the way to refer to a cell and use the value of that cell in the formula.

For example, in the formula =A1+B1, A1 and B1 are cell references, and the formula gives us the result of the sum of the values in cell A1 and cell B1.

In most cases, when you copy a formula to another cell, the cell reference changes accordingly.

But in some cases, you may want to make the cell reference absolute so that it does not change when you copy the formula.

In this tutorial, I will give you the shortcut to change the cell reference and make it an absolute reference in Excel

Shortcut to Absolute Reference in Excel

Below is the shortcut to Absolute Reference in Excel:

F4

or

Fn + F4

How to Use the Keyboard Shortcut to Absolute Reference in Excel

Below are the steps to use the above keyboard shortcut to make the cell reference absolute:

  1. Double-click on the cell that has the formula where you want to change the reference to absolute. This will bring the cursor into the cell so that you can make changes there. You can also select the cell and then press the F2 key to get the cell into the edit mode
  2. Bring the cursor to the reference that you want to convert into the absolute reference
  3. Press the F4 key once to change the reference such that there is a Dollar sign before the road number as well as the column letter (as in $A$1)
  4. Once done, hit the enter key.

Important Things to Know About Absolute Reference in Excel:

  1. You can also manually at the dollar sign before the row number and the column letter to convert a cell reference into an absolute reference. For example, you can change A1 to $A$1 by manually adding the two dollar signs
  2. When you have a relative cell reference, and you press the F4 key once, it will change the reference to absolute (i.e., add a dollar symbol before the row number and the column letter.
    • If you press the F4 key two times, the reference will change from A1 to A$1, and if you press it three times, it will change from A1 to $A1
  3. If you have the function key enabled, you may have to hold the function key and then press the F4 key to change the cell reference.

Alternate Ways to Absolute Reference in Excel:

By default, whenever you’re writing a formula, and you select a cell using the cursor, it will pick up the relative reference. For example, if I enter = in cell B2 and then select cell A1, it would enter =A1 in cell B2

You can then use the F4 shortcut, or you can manually add the dollar sign before the row number and column letter to change the reference to absolute.

Other Excel shortcuts you may also like:

Other Excel Tutorials You May Also Like:

I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel and love sharing my knowledge through articles and tutorials. I work as a business analyst and use Microsoft Excel extensively in my daily tasks. My aim is to help you unleash the full potential of Excel and become a data-slaying wizard yourself.