Applications of Absolute Structured References in Excel Table Formulas

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In this tutorial, we will explain the applications of absolute structured references in Excel table formulas. One thing you should know is that structured reference tables and absolute structured reference tables are not the same. It is more tricky to create absolute structured references in Excel table formulas. This term is also known as anchoring or closing the column references.

What Are Absolute Structured References?

Generally, a structured reference is a term that refers to using a table name in an Excel formula in lieu of a usual cell reference. If the table name that we are using as a reference does not change when we copy the formula to other cells, it will be considered an absolute structured reference.

Absolute Structured Reference Syntax

The default syntax for absolute structured reference is:

Table[[Column_1]:[Column_2]]

Here, weâ€™ve introduced an additional and identical column reference to generate an absolute structured reference.

The syntax for absolute structured reference refers to the present row inside the table is:

[@column1]:[@column2]

Here, we have added the @ symbol before the identical column reference to attach a row reference.

In this article, we will show 4 applications of absolute structured references in an excel table formula. To make you understand better we will use the following dataset to illustrate all the applications. The following screenshot of the dataset contains sales data for 3 months January, February, and March in different regions.

1. Applying Excel Formulas Absolute Structured References to Table Column

First and foremost, we will use absolute structured references to Excel columns. We can use absolute structured references either in a single column or in the current row of a column.

1.1 Using Absolute Structured References in Single Column

In the first method, we will extract the sales amount for the months of January, February, and March only in the region East. We will use the absolute structured references to get the sales data in the East region in the following dataset.

Letâ€™s see the steps to perform this action.

STEPS:

• To begin with, select any cell randomly from the table range.
• In addition, go to the â€˜Table Designâ€™ tab and type a name in the â€˜Table Nameâ€™ field. We named the table â€˜Salesâ€™. You can select any name based on your data. We will use this table name as a reference in the formula.

• Furthermore, select cell H7. Insert the following formula in that cell:
`=SUMIF(Sales[[Region]:[Region]], \$G\$7, Sales[Jan])`
• Press Enter.
• So, with the above command, in cell H7 we get the total sales for January month in the EastÂ region.

• After that, drag the Fill Handle tool from cell H7 to cell J7.
• Lastly, we get totals sales of months February and March also for the EastÂ region.

1.2 Referring Absolute Cell References to Current Row Inside Table

The previous example creates a reference for all the data ranges of the table. But in this application, we will use absolute references only to the current row inside the table. In the following dataset, we will just add the two columns of sales data Jan and Feb in another column.

Letâ€™s take a look at the steps of this method.

STEPS:

• First, select any random cell from the table range.

• Next, go to the â€˜Table Designâ€™ tab. Give the table a name as per your choice. We are using the name â€˜Sales_2â€™.

• Then, select cell E5. Write down the following formula in that cell:
`=SUM([@Jan]:[@Feb])`
• Hit Enter.
• So, the above action returns the total amount of sales of months January and February in cell E5.

• Finally, drag the Fill Handle tool from cell E5 to E10. This action copies the formula of cell E5 in other cells. So, we get total sales for January and February for each region.

NOTE:

In the formula that we used in this method, the @ symbol creates an absolute cell reference for the current row.

2. Summing Two Columns in Excel Using Absolute Structured References

In this method, we will use absolute structured references in excel table formulas to calculate the summation of multiple excel columns. In the following dataset, we will calculate the total sales of months January & February in cell H8 and February & March in cell I8.

Follow the below steps to perform this application.

STEPS:

• Firstly, select any cell from the table range.
• Secondly, go to the â€˜Table Designâ€™ tab. Type a name for the table in the â€˜Table nameâ€™ field. We are using â€˜Sales_3â€™ as the name of the table.

• Thirdly, select cell H8. Input the following formula in that cell:
`=SUM(Sales_3[Jan]:Sales_3[Feb])`
• Press Enter.
• So, we can see the total amount of sales of months January and February in cell H8.

• Furthermore, to get the total sales amount of months February and March drag the Fill Handle tool horizontally to cell I8.
• As a result, in cell I8 we can see the total sales amount of months February and March.

3. Inserting XLOOKUP Formulas to Create Absolute Structured References in Table

In the third application, we will use the XLOOKUP function to create absolute structured references in an excel table formula. This application is similar to the first application of this article. So, if you have not read that application it will be better if you take a quick review of that.

In the following dataset, we will extract sales amounts of months January, February, and March for the West and South regions.

Letâ€™s see the steps to perform this application.

STEPS:

• In the beginning, select any cell from the table range.
• Next, go to the â€˜Table Designâ€™ tab. Type a name for the table in the â€˜Table Nameâ€™ text field.

• Then, insert the following formula in cell H7:
`=XLOOKUP(\$G7,Sales[[Region]:[Region]],Sales[Jan])`
• Press Enter.
• So, in cell H7, the above action returns the sales amount for the month of January in the West.

• Furthermore, to get the sales amount for January month in the West region drag the Fill Handle downward from cell H7 to H8.

• After that, drag the Fill Handle tool from cell H8 to J8.
• Finally, the above commands return the sales amount of 3 months for the West and South regions.

4. Counting Headers with Absolute Structured References in Excel Table

When we work with a table that has thousands of columns itâ€™s not possible to count the number of headers of the table one by one. To fix this problem we can use absolute structured references in excel table formulas. If you know the header of the first column and last column then we can count the number of headers in your table easily. In the following dataset, we will count the number of headers from months January to February.

Go through the following steps to execute this application.

STEPS:

• First of all, select a random cell from the table range.
• Next, go to the â€˜Table Designâ€™ tab.
• In addition, input a name for the table in the â€˜Table Nameâ€™ Field. We are using the table name â€˜Sales_5â€™.

• After that, select cell G7 and insert the following formula in that cell:
`=COUNTA(Sales_5[[#Headers],[Jan]]:Sales_5[[#Headers],[ Mar]])`
• Press Enter.
• In the end, in cell G7, we can see that we have a total of 3 headers in our selected range.

Issues with Absolute References in Tables

Meanwhile, there is no way to make an absolute reference directly from the table reference in a formula. When you will copy or move table references the following things can happen:

1. Column references modify linking with the next column to the right if you move the formula across columns.
2. On the other hand, column references do not change if you copy and paste formulas.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this tutorial demonstrates four applications of absolute structured references in Excel table formulas. Download the practice worksheet contained in this article to put your skills to the test. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below. Our team will try to respond to your message as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for more inventive Microsoft Excel solutions in the future.

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Mukesh Dipto

Hi there! I am Mukesh Dipto. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering. Currently, I am working as a technical content writer in ExcelDemy. You will find all my articles on Microsoft Excel on this site. Outside of the workplace, my hobbies and interests include sports and meeting new people. I also enjoy sports. My favorite sports are football (to watch and play) and Badminton (play).

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