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Editing and Copying Formulas in Microsoft Excel


Editing a Formula

To edit a formula, use the following procedure. The following example uses an incorrect cell reference in a formula.

  1. Select the cell with the formula you want to correct to make it active.
  2. Select the Formula Bar. Excel highlights the cell references in the current formula.

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    Cell References in the Current Formula

  4. Highlight the operator or cell references and either type over with the correct reference or operator, or select the correct cell to replace a cell reference.


  5. Select the cell reference and type to replace the existing formula

  6. Press ENTER to complete the formula. Excel calculates the formula and moves to the next row.


Copying a Formula

To copy and paste a formula, use the following procedure.

  1. Select the cell with the formula you want to copy. You can also click on the cell and use the keyboard shortcut: CTRL + C.
  2. Select Copy from the Home tab on the Ribbon.


  3. Copying Formulas in Excel

    Excel highlights the cell whose contents you are copying. This will remain highlighted until you finish pasting, in case you want to paste the cell contents more than once.

  4. Select the cell where you want to copy the formula. Excel displays a number of paste options. To paste a formula, select Paste or Paste formula. Note that as you hover your mouse over the paste options, the rest of the context menu is dimmed. You can also select the cell and use the keyboard shortcut: CTRL + V.



  5. Paste Formula

  6. Press ENTER to complete the formula. Excel calculates the formula and moves to the next row.


Copying a formula with an Absolute Reference

To copy a formula with an absolute reference, use the following procedure.

  1. Create a new column labeled Taxes.
  2. Select the Taxes column for the first product (cell E4).
  3. Enter the = sign to begin the formula.
  4. Select cell B16 to use it as the first value in the formula. Excel enters the reference as part of the formula. Use the Formula Bar to enter dollar signs before the column and the row (i.e., $B$16).
  5. Enter * and the relative reference in the Total Value column.


  6. Copying a formula that contains an absolute reference

  7. Press ENTER to complete the formula. Excel moves to the next row and performs the calculations in the formula.

Related Excel Lessons

Excel Interface
Starting Excel
Opening Workbooks
Data Entry in Excel
Making Selections in Excel
Adjusting Column Widths
Printing and Exiting MS Excel
Building Formulas
Basic Excel Functions


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