What are #REF Excel Errors? – An #REF error (the “ref” stands for reference) is the message Excel displays when a formula references a cell that no longer exists, usually caused by deleting cells that a formula is referring to. Every good financial analyst knows how to find and fix #REF Excel errors, which we will explain in detail below.

Contents

- 1 What is #ref in Excel Mac?
- 2 What is ref error in Excel after copy paste?
- 3 How do I fix reference is not valid in Excel?
- 4 What is ref vs value error in Excel?
- 5 Do ref errors slow down Excel?
- 6 How do I fix copy and paste error?
- 7 How do you refresh cell references?
- 8 How do I copy and paste without getting the #ref in Excel?

### Why is ref popping up in Excel?

When a formula contains an invalid cell or range reference, the #REF! error is displayed. #REF! in Excel is short for reference, and you’ll usually see it pop up when cells that were referenced in formulas are deleted. They can be a nuisance, but they’re usually pretty simple to find and fix.

- What a #REF error looks like
- How to quickly find cells with #REF
- Fixing & updating cells with #REF
- Preventing #REF in Excel

## What is #ref in Excel Mac?

#REF! error – Excel shows this error when a formula contains a cell reference that isn’t valid. For more information, see Correct a #REF! error,

## What is ref error in Excel after copy paste?

How to fix the #REF! error The #REF! error occurs when a reference is invalid. In many cases, this is because sheets, rows, or columns have been removed, or because a formula with has been copied to a new location where references are invalid. Fixing a #REF error is a matter of editing a formula to use valid references again.

### How do I fix a reference cell in Excel?

Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac Excel 2021 for Mac Excel 2019 for Mac Excel 2016 for Mac Excel for Mac 2011 More.Less By default, a cell reference is relative, For example, when you refer to cell A2 from cell C2, you are actually referring to a cell that is two columns to the left (C minus A), and in the same row (2).

- A formula that contains a relative cell reference changes as you copy it from one cell to another.
- For example, if you copy the formula =A2+B2 from cell C2 to C3, the formula references in C3 adjust downward by one row and become =A3+B3,
- If you want to maintain the original cell reference when you copy it, you “lock” it by putting a dollar sign ( $ ) before the cell and column references.

For example, when you copy the formula =$A$2+$B$2 from C2 to D2, the formula stays exactly the same. This is an absolute reference. In less frequent cases, you may want to make a cell reference “mixed” by preceding either the column or the row value with a dollar sign to “lock” either the column or the row (for example, $A2 or B$3).

Select the cell that contains the cell reference that you want to change. In the formula bar, click the cell reference that you want to change. Press + T to move through the combinations. The following table summarizes what happens if a formula in cell A1, which contains a reference, is copied. Specifically, the formula is copied two cells down and two cells to the right, to cell C3.

Current reference (description): | Changes to: |

$A$1 (absolute column and absolute row) | $A$1 (the reference is absolute) |

A$1 (relative column and absolute row) | C$1 (the reference is mixed) |

$A1 (absolute column and relative row) | $A3 (the reference is mixed) |

A1 (relative column and relative row) | C3 (the reference is relative) |

## How do I fix reference is not valid in Excel?

Problem #3: Brackets in the file name – Sometimes the square brackets in the Excel file name also can be the reason for the “reference isn’t valid” Excel error message. You can test this as follows.

Insert square brackets for the file name before the,xlsx file.

Now, try to create a new Pivot Table using data in the “Data” sheet.

Then, you will get the “Data source reference is not valid” error. The reason is that Pivot Tables do not support predefined characters. Square brackets are such characters. So, Pivot tables identify them as invalid characters or forbidden characters. The solution in this current scenario is to remove square brackets from the file name.

- Go to the file explorer.
- Select the Excel file.
- Press F2
- Remove the square brackets of the file name.

### Why is Excel giving me a value error?

– Often #VALUE! occurs because your formula refers to other cells that contain spaces, or even trickier: hidden spaces. These spaces can make a cell look blank, when in fact they are not blank.

#### How do I copy and paste without getting the #ref in Excel?

Copy or move a single formula without changing cell references – If you need to copy or move just one formula, making an exact copy is easy.

- Select the cell with the formula you want to copy.
- Select the formula in the formula bar using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it. If you want to move the formula, press Ctrl + X to cut it.
- Press the Esc key to exit the formula bar.
- Select the destination cell and press Ctl + V to paste the formula there.

Alternatively, you can enter the editing mode and copy the formula in the cell as text:

- Select a cell with the formula.
- Press F2 (or double-click the cell) to enter the editing mode.
- Select the formula in the cell using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
- Select the destination cell, and press Ctl+V, This will paste the formula exactly, without changing the cell references, because the formula was copied as text.

Tip. To quickly copy a formula from the above cell with no reference changed, select the cell where you want to paste the formula and press Ctrl + ‘,

### How do I prevent #ref error in Excel while deleting rows?

Avoid #REF error while deleting the rows – To avoid #REF error, you cannot use the general formula =cell reference, you need another formula. Select a cell next to the cell you need to use a formula to refer a row to it and type the row number difference between the cell and reference cell. For instance, I want to refer B12 to B2, then type 10 into C2. See screenshot: The in the cell B2, type =OFFSET(B2,C2,), and press Enter key. Now while you deleting the row 12, the cell content will be updated and get the value in new row 12.

## What is ref vs value error in Excel?

Things to Remember –

- The #N/A error may occur due to data mismatch.
- The #NAME? Error may appear due to the wrong formula type.
- The #REF! Error may display due to a wrong column index number.
- The #VALUE! Error is due to a missing or incorrect parameter supply.

### How to do an if formula?

Use the IF function, one of the logical functions, to return one value if a condition is true and another value if it’s false. For example: =IF(A2>B2,’Over Budget’,’OK’) =IF(A2=B2,B4-A4,”)

## Do ref errors slow down Excel?

#REF! Means Your INDIRECT() Formula May Be Slow As A Dog – A user recently handed me a spreadsheet and asked me to investigate some bizarre behaviour. For some people the spreadsheet’s calculation was fast, for others quite slow and, for a few, extremely slow.

- After a bit of playing around I found what the problem was and, since I couldn’t find it documented anywhere, I thought it would be worth a quick blog post.
- The workbook in question had many sheets and a lot of those sheets had several thousand INDIRECT() formulas.
- The workbook had been structured with INDIRECT() formulas so the users could easily redirect â€˜lookup’ formulas to pull data from different sheets as and when they needed to.

This sort of design isn’t uncommon. The workbook was really slow to calculate (1 minute) on my machine. There were no array formulas or complex calculations anywhere and there were very few downstream dependencies on the INDIRECT() formulas. However, I found that, if I deleted one particular sheet, the workbook calculations suddenly became â€˜instantaneous’ (2 seconds).

- When I noticed that the INDIRECT() formulas on that sheet were all returning #REF! errors things began to make sense.
- Let’s take a step back and think about what INDIRECT() does.
- It takes a string (or a cell containing a string), resolves what that string represents and then returns a reference to the corresponding range.

The string may be an A1 or R1C1 style reference or the name of a named range. INDIRECT() has to go through a number of steps to determine what the reference may be; if it can’t find a match then it returns a #REF! error. It’s a logical conclusion that the function will start with a local scope and then broaden its search through other open workbooks and add-ins to try to find a match if it needs to.

- If you have an invalid string reference, INDIRECT() is going to go through every possibility it can to try to find a corresponding range before it finally spits back an #REF! error: it is doing more work which means it will be slower,
- This can also cause some pretty insidious behaviour: the speed of the #REF! INDIRECT() function will be affected by the number of workbooks and add-ins you have open and how many sheets and names they have.

If you test the workbook in a “light” Excel instance it could recalculate quite quickly but for someone else with a “heavy” session it could be painfully slow. This behaviour is compounded by the fact that INDIRECT() is volatile which means it recalculates on every calculation event.

## How do I fix copy and paste error?

Method 1. Restart the Computer and File Explorer – Restarting your computer can solve many problems. Therefore, when you encounter problems with copy and paste not working in Windows 10, you can try restarting your computer first and then try restarting File Explorer to solve the problem.

- Tap the Start button on the leftmost side of the taskbar, tap the Power button in the expanded menu, and then select Restart,
- Wait for the computer to restart and then try to copy and paste again.
- If copy and paste still doesn’t work, use Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
- Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart in the expanded menu.

## How do you refresh cell references?

In Excel, select a cell in a query in a worksheet. Select the Query tab in the ribbon, and then select Refresh > Refresh.

#### Why won’t Excel let me reference another cell?

There are 2 possible things: Make sure the format of the cell is not ‘Text’. If it is, change to something else, such as ‘General’ and then double click in the formula bar and press enter. Make sure that ‘Show Formulas’ is OFF.

## How do I copy and paste without getting the #ref in Excel?

Copy or move a single formula without changing cell references – If you need to copy or move just one formula, making an exact copy is easy.

- Select the cell with the formula you want to copy.
- Select the formula in the formula bar using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it. If you want to move the formula, press Ctrl + X to cut it.
- Press the Esc key to exit the formula bar.
- Select the destination cell and press Ctl + V to paste the formula there.

Alternatively, you can enter the editing mode and copy the formula in the cell as text:

- Select a cell with the formula.
- Press F2 (or double-click the cell) to enter the editing mode.
- Select the formula in the cell using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
- Select the destination cell, and press Ctl+V, This will paste the formula exactly, without changing the cell references, because the formula was copied as text.

Tip. To quickly copy a formula from the above cell with no reference changed, select the cell where you want to paste the formula and press Ctrl + ‘,