modo L1C1

#Spreadsheet #Cells

  • The cell concept

  • Cell references

    • Absolute reference

    • Relative reference

    • Mixed reference

    • Named reference

  • How to add a comment

The cell concept

It’s called cell the intersection between a row (horizontal) and a column (vertical) of the worksheet. Thus, the name of the line combined with the name of the column results in the coordinates of a cell (the term address is also used). In general, we can distinguish two types of coordinates (called reference styles), depending on the spreadsheets:

The way L1C1 (Line 1, Column 1), where the cell is located by the line number preceded by the letter L and the column number preceded by the letter Ç.

Like this, L12C34 designates the cell at the intersection of the 12th row and the 34th column:

L1C1 mode

The way TO 1, where line numbers are located by numbers and columns by letters. Thus, AA17 designates the cell at the intersection of the 27th column and the 17th row:

A1 mode

Nota Bene
Most spreadsheets propose, in their options, to move from one mode to another. In Excel and StarOffice, just go to Tools > options > General and check the box Reference style L1C1.

Cell references

In order to be able to manipulate data from different cells in the calculations, you need to be able to reference them. There are several ways to refer to a cell: the absolute reference, the named reference, the mixed reference and the relative reference.

Absolute reference

The absolute reference represents the means of uniquely designating a cell in a spreadsheet. According to the reference mode (L1C1 or A1) the absolute reference will be written differently:

In mode L1C1: the absolute reference to a cell is made by preceding the line number by the letter L and the column number by the letter Ç:


Ex: L12C24 for the cell located at the intersection of row 12 with column 24.

In mode TO 1: in this mode it is done by preceding the line number and the column number by the $ sign.


Ex: $ AC $ 34 for the cell located at the intersection of the column called B.C with the line 34.

Relative reference

The relative reference of a cell is the expression of its position in relation to another cell. Thus, a relative reference results in the difference (in terms of the number of rows and columns) between the cell (reference) and a pointed cell (referenced cell). By convention, there is a negative difference upwards, for the vertical axis and a difference towards the left, for the horizontal axis.

In mode L1C1, the reference for a cell is made by indicating the cell coordinates in parentheses:


Ex: L (3) C (-2) for the cell located 3 rows below and 2 columns to the left in relation to the reference cell:

relative reference in L1C1 mode

When the difference is zero, there is no need to note a zero in parentheses. Like this L (0) C (12) can be called LC (12).

In mode TO 1, the expression of the difference between cells is hidden. In fact, a relative reference in mode TO 1 is implicit, just indicate the coordinates of the pointed (referenced) cell without indicating the sign $:

relative reference in A1 mode

Mixed reference

It’s called mixed the reference in which the horizontal position of the cell is expressed in an absolute manner, and the vertical position, in a relative manner, or vice versa.

In mode L1C1 the mixed reference will take the form L2C (3) or L (4) C17. In mode TO 1, it will take the form $ C5 or F $ 18.

Named reference

It is possible to name a cell or group of cells.

Nota Bene
To name a cell in Excel just select the cell, or the range of cells, to be named and go to Insert > Name > To define.

Thus, when a cell, or a range of cells, has a name (we sometimes use the term tag), it is possible to refer to it by name. This feature is particularly useful when certain cells contain characteristic data, because we can refer to them by name, even if they have been moved.

In an invoice, for example, it is important to give a name such as total_st to the cell that gives the subtotal, without tax, of orders. You can also create a cell called Tax with its index. So, when you want to calculate the total with tax, you just need to multiply the product of the cell total_st by the cell Tax.

How to add a comment

You can add a comment or note to a cell to give additional information that we don’t want (or can’t) see in the spreadsheet. To add a comment to an Excel cell, simply select the cell, or range of cells, to be named and go to Insert > Comment or right click on it and choose insert a comment:

Inserting a comment in a cell

Nota Bene
Note the presence of a red triangle at the top right of the cell D5, which indicates that the cell has a comment, inviting the user to mouse over the cell to view the content.

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