In spreadsheet applications
, a reference to a cell
or group of cells by indicating how far away it is from some other cell. For example, in Lotus 1-2-3
and many other spreadsheet programs, the cell reference “C2” is relative. Initially it points to the cell in the third column
and second row, but it does this by specifying how far away this cell is from some other cell. For example, if you insert
this reference in cell A1, the program
will translate it to “2 columns right and 1 row down”. If you then copy
the reference to cell B4, it will now point to cell D5.
In contrast, an absolute cell reference always points to the same cell, no matter where the reference appears.