The Thrill of F4

Quick Summary:

  • Use the F4 key on your keyboard to toggle from a relative cell reference through the three variations of absolute cell references.
  • The F4 key works for this application in Microsoft Office Excel and Google Sheets.


Via a few effective examples, Mike “ExcelIsFun” Girvin explains cell references and the time-saving advantages of using F4 in the following video. He specifically covers the F4 keyboard shortcut starting around 3:25.

Mike also teaches a broader, productive lesson of analytical inquiry and the benefits of tinkering, when he observes:

“This is getting annoying.”

And he asks:

“There’s got to be a way in Excel, instead of having to create all these formulas by hand — there’s got to be a way to tell Excel…

Let us know what you think.

If you use a spreadsheet program other than Microsoft Office Excel or Google Sheets , let us know how absolute cell references are manipulated therein.

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