Thursday 10 April 2014

The importance of cell referencing in Excel spreadsheets...

Using Excel correctly in the lab is an important skill to develop, and students sometimes get this wrong by failing to correctly use cell referencing and instead "hardcoding" key numbers into the formulas they are using. The consequence of doing this is that if the student later changes any of the numbers, these changes will not cascade through the spreadsheet, and this can lead to errors.

The video below demonstrates the importance of cell referencing and why it should be used as opposed to "hardcoding"...

The key points are:

  • When analysing scientific data, the only number that should be entered into the spreadsheet is the raw data
  • All calculations being performed should reference cells (e.g. A2) used for the calculations and not contain numbers (e.g. the number from cell A2

So this means that cells should be:


And not...


If you would like to support my blogging efforts, then please feel free to buy me a coffee at

No comments:

Post a Comment