Our Service

5 Time-Saving Shortcuts for Absolute Cell References in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you manage and analyze data with ease. However, it can be time-consuming to manually enter formulas and cell references. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts you can use to save time and increase your productivity. In this article, we will explore five time-saving shortcuts for absolute cell references in Excel.

What are Absolute Cell References?

Before we dive into the shortcuts, let’s first define what absolute cell references are. In Excel, cell references are used to identify a specific cell or range of cells. There are two types of cell references: relative and absolute. Relative cell references change when a formula is copied to another cell, while absolute cell references remain constant.

For example, if you have a formula that adds the values in cells A1 and A2, and you copy that formula to cell B1, the formula will change to add the values in cells B1 and B2. However, if you use an absolute cell reference, such as $A$1, the formula will always add the values in cells A1 and A2, regardless of where it is copied.

Shortcut #1: F4

The F4 key is a powerful shortcut for absolute cell references. When you type a cell reference into a formula, you can press the F4 key to toggle between relative and absolute references. For example, if you type “=A1” into a cell, you can press F4 to change it to “$A$1”. This can save you a lot of time when entering formulas.

Shortcut #2: Ctrl + Shift + $

If you prefer to use the keyboard, you can use the Ctrl + Shift + $ shortcut to quickly add dollar signs to a cell reference. Simply select the cell reference you want to make absolute, and then press Ctrl + Shift + $. This will add dollar signs to the beginning and end of the reference, making it absolute.

Shortcut #3: Ctrl + Shift + %

The Ctrl + Shift + % shortcut is similar to Ctrl + Shift + $, but it adds percentage signs instead of dollar signs. This is useful when working with percentage values, such as calculating a discount or tax rate. Simply select the cell reference you want to make absolute, and then press Ctrl + Shift + %.

Shortcut #4: F2

The F2 key is another useful shortcut for working with cell references. When you select a cell, you can press F2 to enter edit mode. This allows you to quickly edit the contents of the cell, including the cell reference. You can use this shortcut to quickly change a relative reference to an absolute reference, or vice versa.

Shortcut #5: Ctrl + Enter

The Ctrl + Enter shortcut is a time-saving trick for entering formulas into multiple cells at once. Simply select the range of cells you want to enter the formula into, type the formula into the first cell, and then press Ctrl + Enter. Excel will automatically enter the formula into all of the selected cells, adjusting the cell references as needed.


Using these five shortcuts can help you save time and increase your productivity when working with absolute cell references in Excel. Whether you prefer to use the keyboard or the mouse, there is a shortcut for every user. By mastering these shortcuts, you can become a more efficient Excel user and get more done in less time.


Did you find this article useful?

Share it with your friends or colleagues

About Aepoch Advisors

We are a boutique accounting and consulting firm servicing international businesses operating in China. We offers book keeping and business advisory service. We also help our clients select and implement SAAS business applications
Cloud technology significantly reduces cost foreign companies traditionally spent on tax compliance and ERP systems. Our cloud professionals can help with streamlining your management and controling structure, as well as advising you on how to reduce risks and maximize profits with software purposely built for Chinese business. Contact us today to learn more about our services.