References to Cells in Excel  Step by Step Guide ▷ 2020

Spreadsheets are currently one of the most used tools to create lists, organize elements and of course perform calculations. Before the appearance of the first software of this type, they were usually filled in by hand. They had rows and columns.

But unlike the old ones, the digital ones present more utilities and the result is reached in a practical way.

One of them is the possibility to create references between cells. It is also one of the bases for the creation of a basic document Microsoft Excel. We invite you to go through the following post to learn more about it.

What is a cell reference in Microsoft Excel and what is it for in a spreadsheet?

What is a cell reference in Microsoft Excel and what is it for in a spreadsheet?

It is a function that it is available from the first versions of the program Microsoft Excel. It made an important difference against its competitors. The best way to understand how it works is through a simple analogy. Imagine that you are in front of a paper template and that you must place in a box the result of the sum of two others.

Instead of writing the result, you join with a thread the related squares in said operation. Also think that you can do the same with the result box and others on the same sheet, even with another page. In the program, this is an efficient way to indicate that the value or the result one or more cells are reflected in another.

Learn step by step how to use cell references in Excel

As we mentioned before, handling this utility within Excel is essential to later start using more powerful features. It is a very simple operation, although it has variants depending on the result you want to achieve.

Let’s see the main ones:

From one cell to another

It is the simplest. For this you must write in join the letter and the number that refer to the one whose information you are interested in preceded by the equal sign.

For example.

  • On a blank sheet of paper, write the value “= 2 + 3” in cell “C2”.
  • Then write in any other, (can be the “A1”) the function “= C2”.
  • In this way the result of the first cell we referenced will be reflected in the second.

Another way by which we will reach the same result, but this time using the keyboard and mouse combination is like this:

Learn step by step how to use cell references in Excel - between cells

  • Write any number in the cells what you wish. For example, which you will see in the image.
  • Then in the cell you will reference, write the sign “=”.
  • Click on the cell you will refer to and press “Enter” to end. You can add operations with other cells or values ​​to this procedure.


A second possibility that this tool gives us is reference a group of contiguous cells. Which are called “Rank”.

Take these steps to achieve it:

Learn step by step how to use cell references in Excel - range

  • If you go to perform the sum of the values ​​included in said range, write in an empty cell “= SUM (“.
  • Then select, dragging left click on the cells to be added.
  • Close the operation by typing the missing sign “)” and press “Enter”.

Another sheet

It’s even allowed refer to a cell or range which is outside the current sheet, but within the same book (document).

This is very useful when we are working with long documents and within which there are separate pages:

  • Supposing that your document already has several sheets, with values ​​expressed in different cells, write in the cell to reference “=”.
  • Then select the cell to refer, regardless of location or blade.
  • Press “Enter” to end.

We recommend this method over manual entry, as the sheet could vary by name. However, if you want to do it, the function is “= Sheet3! A1” Being the leaf, the number “3” and the cell inside her “A1”. If it is renamed it would remain “= ‘Second Sheet’! A1”. Being “Second Sheet “ the renowned and “A1” the location of the cell.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

You may be interested:

Rate this post

Leave a Comment