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# Excel/copying absolute and relative references

Question
hello Stuart:
The extract of a spreasheet below shows the formulas in 12 cells.
The first row is where my problem/question lies. If there were only 3 columns, I would not be writing this query. There are many, many columns, almost 100 columns.
The problem: I want to enter formulas in the first row, following the trend that you see below, in 100 or so columns. At present, the only way I know of is to MANUALLY enter the formulas.

Can you suggest a more efficient way to make the entries, so that it doesn't take forever to fill the cells of the first row?

You can see that once the first row is completed, the following rows can easily be filled by copying.
=(\$B\$3/B3)-1   =(\$B\$4/B3)-1   =(\$B\$5/B3)-1
=(\$B\$3/B4)-1   =(\$B\$4/B4)-1   =(\$B\$5/B4)-1
=(\$B\$3/B5)-1   =(\$B\$4/B5)-1   =(\$B\$5/B5)-1
=(\$B\$3/B6)-1   =(\$B\$4/B6)-1   =(\$B\$5/B6)-1

Thanks.

Chris

In cell C3, enter the formula

=OFFSET(\$B\$2,COLUMN(E2)-COLUMN(\$B2),0) / \$B3 - 1

copy this same formula down, and to the right. It will give you results equal to the formulas you show in your question. You may extend the copying as many rows and columns as necessary.
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#### Stuart Resnick

##### Expertise

I can answer questions relating to MS Excel formulas, or to programming with vba (Visual Basic for Applications) in the Excel environment. Please follow the following guidelines: your question should focus on one specific issue you want to learn. It's beyond the scope of this free service for me to create entire projects or complex vba solutions for you from scratch. You should be able to do most of the work yourself, and come here when you need help with a specific point you're stuck on. ALWAYS include a simple, concrete example illustrating what you want to learn. Explain this example in detail in the text of your question (what data is in which cells of which sheets, etc). Be very precise about the results you want, using this sample to make the logic clear. Always keep these examples SIMPLE. Never e.g. use 18 worksheets in your example if using 2 or 3 will do. Never use ranges like AI567:BB865 if using a range like A1:B3 will do. Thanks.

##### Experience

As a consultant, I've designed Excel tools since the 90s, working for the Federal Reserve Bank, AT&T, and (currently) Gap Inc.

Education/Credentials
My only "education" comes from 2 decades of doing spreadsheet/programming work, with major SF Bay Area corporations such as AT&T, Federal Reserve Bank, and Gap Inc.