Imagine you are entering a formula in a cell. To point to a cell in a formula, you use the letters R and C. After each letter, enter the number of rows or columns in square brackets.
For columns, a positive number means to move to the right a certain number of columns, and a negative number means to move to the left a certain number of columns. From cell E5, use RC[1] to refer to F5 and RC[-1] to refer to D5.
For rows, a positive number means to move down the spreadsheet a certain number of rows. A negative number means to move toward the top of the spreadsheet a certain number of rows. From cell E5, use R[1]C to refer to E6 and use cell R[-1]C to refer to E4.
If you leave off the square brackets for either the R or the C, it means that you are pointing to a cell in the same row or column as the cell with the formula.
If you enter =R[-1]C[-1] in cell E5, you are referring to a cell one row up and one column to the left. This would be cell D4.
If you enter =RC[-1] in cell E5, you are referring to a cell in the same row, but one column to the left. This would be cell D5.
If you enter =RC[1] in cell E5, you are referring to a cell in the same row, but one column to the right. This would be cell F5.
If you enter =RC in cell E5, you are referring to a cell in the same row and column, which is cell E5 itself. You would generally never do this because it would create a circular reference.
Figure 6.7 shows how you would enter a reference in cell E5 to point to various cells around E5.
Figure 6.7
Here are various relative references.These would be entered in cell E5 to describe each cell around E5.
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