When you enter a formula that contains cell references into a cell, Excel keeps track of it in two ways. The first is to record the value of that cell and use the value in the calculation. The second way is to keep track of the relative position of the cells in the formula to one another.

Here's how relative addressing works if you enter the formula `=a1+a2` in cell A3.

If the formula could talk, it would say, “Take the cell two rows above me and add the value of that cell to the cell one row above me and display the results in my cell.” (Talking formulas would be great, wouldn't they!) If you copied the formula in A3 to C3, the new formula would read `=C1+C2`. Why? Because the new formula would be looking at ...

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