Microsoft KB Archive/51918

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Article ID: 51918

Article Last Modified on 11/16/2006


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q51918

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows 3.0|3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for Windows 4.0|4.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh 3.0|3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh 4.0|4.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh 5.0|5.0


To continually reference the same cell in a formula in Microsoft Excel, use the INDIRECT function.


Absolute referencing references the same cell as long as no cells are added or deleted in the column above the cell you are referencing. This means that when you insert or delete a column so that the cell you are referencing is moved, the formula references the new cell location.

For example, if you type the value 10 in cell A1 and refer to it in cell B1 with the formula "=$A$1" (without the quotation marks), the value 10 appears in cell B1. If you then insert a cell over cell A1 so that the value 10 is moved to cell A2, the formula in cell B1 is "=$A$2."

To anchor the same reference while you insert or delete rows, columns, or cells, use the INDIRECT worksheet function. For example, if you want Excel to always reference cell A1, use the following formula:


Below is an example of a formula that would use the INDIRECT function to always sum the first 10 rows of column A:



Microsoft Excel 97

For more information about the INDIRECT function click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel Help, type the following text


and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Indirect function" topic.

Earlier Versions

"Online Help," version 5.0

"Function Reference," version 4.0, page 238

"Function Reference," version 3.0, page 129

"Functions and Macros," version 2.x, page 61

Additional query words: sort lock XL

Keywords: KB51918