Non-volatile "permanent" cell/range reference

mrblister

Board Regular
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
164
Office Version
  1. 2019
Platform
  1. Windows
Let's say I have numbers in range A1:A3
And I have a formula in B1: =A1
And I have a formula in C1: =sum(A1:A3)

How do I make the cell references in B1 and C1 "permanent", AND non-volatile? For example, if I move and drag cell A1 (or the range A1:A3), then the references in the formulas B1 or C1 will change (which could be bad if the formulas in column B and C are copied down, and there are other formulas dependent on the formulas in column B or C).
I can prevent this by using (for example) "Indirect" or "Offset", but those are volatile, and I am searching for simple non-volatile alternatives to those (if such a thing exists).

Thanks in advance!
 

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jasonb75

Well-known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
11,989
Office Version
  1. 365
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Format your data as a structured table?

Without using tables you can use =INDEX(1:3,0,1) to stop the range changing when you drag it left or right, you can use =INDEX(A:A,1):INDEX(A:A,3) to stop it changing when you drag down.

Other than that, you will need to use the volatile functions.
 

mikerickson

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
23,920
Its not clear to me what you are looking for.

You have =A1 in B1. If you want that formula to be unchanged when dragged down, use absolute referencing =$A$1

The formula in B1 will change to follow A1 if one Cuts and pastes A1 elsewhere, COPY pasting A1 will not change the formula in B1.

=INDEX(A:A, 1, 1) or =INDEX(1:1, 1, 1) will always return the cell in A1, even after the (old) A1 is copy pasted. But inserting/deleting whole rows or columns could effect that
 

jasonb75

Well-known Member
Joined
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Messages
11,989
Office Version
  1. 365
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  1. Windows
Its not clear to me what you are looking for.
The way that I understood it was that the OP doesn't want a formula that refers to A1 to follow the cell if it is moved (click, hold and drag).
 

mrblister

Board Regular
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
164
Office Version
  1. 2019
Platform
  1. Windows

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Format your data as a structured table?

Without using tables you can use =INDEX(1:3,0,1) to stop the range changing when you drag it left or right, you can use =INDEX(A:A,1):INDEX(A:A,3) to stop it changing when you drag down.

Other than that, you will need to use the volatile functions.
Thanks, I'll try that out. I'm trying to increase efficiency on the sheet, and having too many volatiles will cause too much unnecessary calculation each time anything changes. This should help.
 

jasonb75

Well-known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
11,989
Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
I'm all for removing volatile functions, but there are times when they are a necessary evil. There may be other things in your sheet that are less efficient than simple volatile formulas.
 

mrblister

Board Regular
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
164
Office Version
  1. 2019
Platform
  1. Windows
Its not clear to me what you are looking for.

You have =A1 in B1. If you want that formula to be unchanged when dragged down, use absolute referencing =$A$1

The formula in B1 will change to follow A1 if one Cuts and pastes A1 elsewhere, COPY pasting A1 will not change the formula in B1.

=INDEX(A:A, 1, 1) or =INDEX(1:1, 1, 1) will always return the cell in A1, even after the (old) A1 is copy pasted. But inserting/deleting whole rows or columns could effect that
Hi Mike. To follow-up with what Jason said, sometimes I drag stuff around. But if there's formulae referencing those cells, it's possible to create hard-to-catch cascading errors. These "permanent" references are an attempt to reduce those errors (even though they come with their own set of disadvantages).
 

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