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absolute cell reference
Last modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 

In spreadsheet applications, a reference to a particular cell or group of cells that does not change, even if you change the shape or size of the spreadsheet, or copy the reference to another cell. For example, in Lotus 1-2-3 and other spreadsheet programs, the cell reference "$A$3" is an absolute cell reference that always points to the cell in the first column and third row. In contrast, the reference "A3" is a relative cell reference that initially points to the cell in the first column and third row, but may change if you copy the reference to another cell or change the shape and size of the spreadsheet in some other way. Absolute cell references are particularly useful for referencing constant values (i.e., values that never change).

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