# Relative formula not updating when copying

It can save you a lot of precious time and improve your productivity., and total we need to copy the formula to cells I3, I4, and I5. Position the cursor in the lower right corner of the cell, and when the fill handle appears, drag the formula down to the next three cells. To see what the problem is, look at the formulas that Excel copied for us.Formulas are a handy addition to your sheets that help automate any number of actions.So when you find a good one – like a formula to automate RYG balls or calculate projected deal revenue – you’ll probably want to use it in more place than one.Imagine you are a swimming coach wanting to keep a track of your swimmer’s recent average swim times.We could have columns to record the last nine swim times then calculate the average timing of the last three swims and the average time of all the swims.One of the great things about Microsoft Excel is you can copy and paste formulas and they still work relative to where the formula now lives.

And when it got to row 4, it changed the H2 to H4 (which we wanted) and it changed the H5 to H7 (which we did not want).And the way you tell Excel that a cell reference is an absolute cell reference is by putting a pair of dollar signs in the term—one before the column letter and one before the row number, like this: $H.The dollar sign to the left of the H means "don't change the H" when copying the formula, and the dollar sign to the left of the 5 means "don't change the 5" when copying the formula, either.So you have to know two things when you create a formula: If so, are there any terms that you do not want changed when you copy the formula?If the answer to both questions is yes, then you need to write the terms that you do not want changed as absolute cell references.Our solution is to use a little-known Excel function called INDIRECT.Indirect allows you to specify an exact cell and Excel will go and fetch the contents of that precise location. Sometimes Excel seems to work so hard to be helpful that it works against what you want, but there is almost always a way to get the result you need.The following sheet allows Pat Wilson to track her car mileage for work trips.Pat enters her monthly mileage rate on the first row within the Total Amount column.Check out the copied formulas: What if you're not sure about whether a term is relative or absolute? When you compare this to the formula for row 2, (H2/H5) you see that the first term is changing (therefore it is a relative term) and the second one is not (therefore it is an absolute term).Go to the next line and write out the formula for that line by hand. So to make the H5 absolute you need to put in the dollar signs.

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