If you are new to Microsoft Excel, the use of the dollar sign ($) can be a little obscure. It is, however, a useful tool, and easy to use when you know what you’re doing (and why). This article should help you get the hang of using dollar signs in excel.

*For more quick tips check out our 10 Top Time Saving Excel Formulas.*

**The Basic Principle**

Put simply, if you place a formula into a cell, then copy and paste the formula to a different cell, the cell values used will move with it.

For example, if you place the formula ‘A1+A2’ into the cell A4, then copy and paste it into cell A5, the formula will change to ‘A2+A3’. This change is because you have moved the formula one cell to the right – both cell references have moved the same distance in the same direction.

**Using the Dollar Symbol**

When you don’t want a cell reference to change when you copy and paste, the solution is to use a dollar sign. The dollar sign can be used in one of three ways:

**When you don’t want the cell reference to change at all.** If this is the case, instead of entering ‘A1’ for example, enter ‘$A$1’. By putting the dollar signs on both sides of the letter, you render the cell reference unchangeable.
**When you want the reference to change when you move the formula to a different column, but not to a different row.** In this instance, instead of entering ‘A1’, enter ‘$A1’.
**When you want the reference to change when moved to a different row, not a different column.** In this case, the dollar sign goes between the letter and the number, making ‘A$1’.

This very short introduction should give you a basic idea of how to use the dollar sign in Excel, and ideas on how to make it work for you.

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