A mixed reference is a cell's reference that blocks the reference of a Column or a Row but not both. This is very useful to build complex workbooks.
- Block the reference of the column
- Block the reference of the row
For instance A$1
Before showing you an example of a calculation using mixed references, we will detail the use of the $ symbol in a reference. An absolute reference has two $. There is one for the rows and one for the columns.
But which dollar does what? 🤔🤨🙄 In fact, it's very simple, just look at the position of the $
- If the $ is on the left of the letter it means you locked the column
- If the $ is on the left of the row number it means you lock the row
Tips: Press the key F4 multiple times to change the position of the $ when you build your formula.
To illustrate the use of a mixed reference, we will construct a multiplication table. The idea here is to create a single formula and copy it for the rest of the document. This will save us from writing the 99 other formulas 😉
We want to stay always on the headers of our table so we will write the formula as follows
- Start by copying cell C4 (Ctrl + C)
- Then select all other cells
- Finally, paste the formula (Ctrl + V)
The multiplication table is now correct for every single cell.
We have created only one formula and copied it for the 99 other cells 👍😍😎
Tips to know where to insert the $?
If creating a formula with mixed references is difficult for you at first glance, use this trick to know where to put the $. 💡
- First, don't think at all to the dollar. Write your formula without dollar
- Create 3 or 4 formula in your document
- Now, display the formulas of your document by activating the menu Formulas>Show Formulas
Your spreadsheet now looks like this
- Now look carefully at the formulas. 🧐Each formula points to
- The column B, so we put a $ before the B
- The row 3, so we put a $ before the 3
Mixed references in a Table
Finally, if you want to create a mixed reference in a Table (Insertion>Table), YOU CAN'T! ⛔⛔⛔ In a Table you can only create absolute or relative references