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# Numbers for iPad: Formulas and Functions

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## Understanding Cell References

Formulas involving only constants are fine when you want to use Numbers as a jumped-up pocket calculator, but the real power of formulas comes from doing calculations with the raw data that are already in your spreadsheet. To do so, use cell references to identify (point to) cells whose values you want to use in formulas.

When you double-tap a formula cell or open the formula keyboard, the table’s reference tabs sprout letters and numbers that identify the columns and rows, respectively . Each cell reference is an address named for the column–row intersection where the cell is located. B2, for example, is the cell at the intersection of column B and row 2. A range of cells is identified by a pair of cell references separated by a colon (:). A1:B3, for example, refers to the rectangular block of six cells between A1 and B3 inclusive—that is, cells A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, and B3.

A cell reference in a formula tells Numbers to get that cell’s value and use it in the formula’s calculation. The simplest example is

=A1

which sets the value of the formula cell to whatever value is in cell A1. You can treat cell references like ordinary values. The formula

=A1 × 2

returns twice the value of A1, provided that A1 holds a number. shows a formula that references multiple cells.

Cells also are referenced by name by using header-column and header-row values (see “Rows and Columns” in Chapter 2). If cell B4 has the header-column value Test 1 and the header-row value S333, its named reference is Test 1 S333.

Referenced cells can be in the same table as the formula cell, or they can be in another table on the same or a different sheet. Cell references have different formats, depending on whether they refer to a single cell or a range of cells, whether the cell’s table has headers, and so on. Table 4.4 lists the formats that Numbers uses for cell references.