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Excel 2003: Copying Formulas

Excel 2003: Copying Formulas

Copying a formula can be as simple as using the Copy & Paste commands or the AutoFill handle.

Remember, AutoFill is a great way to save yourself time when entering recognizable sets of data. And, in addition using AutoFill to fill in recognizable lists, you can use AutoFill to copy text, data and formulas.

Using AutoFill to Copy a Formula

     
  1. Select the cell that contains the formula you want to copy
     
  2.  
  3. Position your mouse on the lower-right corner of the active cell (the mouse pointer should resemble a thin crosshair)
     
  4.  
  5. Click and drag down or to the right
     

Using Copy & Paste to Copy a Formula

     
  1. Select the cell that contains the formula you want to copy
     
  2.  
  3. Click the Copy button on the Standard toolbar
     
  4.  
  5. Select the cell of the new formula location
     
  6.  
  7. Click the Paste button on the Standard toolbar (or, press Enter)
     

Copying a Formula Using Your Mouse

     
  1. Select the cell that contains the formula you want to copy
     
  2.  
  3. Position your mouse on an outside edge of your selection
     
  4.  
  5. When you see a black arrow, while holding down [CTRL], click and drag the selection to another location
     

You probably noticed that while you were copying the cell references in, the original formula automatically updated to reflect the new formula position. For instance, if you copied the original formula down one cell, the new formula row reference numbers would have increased by one. So, in this case, a cell that original read: =B1+C1, would read after copied: =B2+C2.

This is called a Relative Cell Reference. All formulas contain relative cell references by default.