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Copy an Excel formula without changing its cell references

If you copy a formula from one place to another, Excel will want to readjust the references to reflect the change. However, if you want the formulas to stay the same, Mary Ann Richardson can help end the confusion.

When working with a spreadsheet, when you copy a formula to another location, Excel automatically adjusts the cell references in that formula to the new location. If you do not want to have Excel adjust the cell references, you would have to make them absolute before copying them. Or, you could copy the formula to the clipboard as text before pasting it to its new location. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the cell containing the formula you want to copy.

  2. Press [F2].
  3. Click and drag to select the entire formula.
  4. Click the Copy button in the Standard toolbar.
  5. Press [Enter].
  6. Select the cell into which you want to paste the formula.
  7. Click the Paste button in the Standard toolbar.

When you copy an Excel formula in this manner, the formula copies as text and will not adjust its cell reference. You can also copy part of a formula this way. For example, you may want to include the formula as part of an If statement in another part of the worksheet.

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