# Constants in Numbers

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by benwedge, Oct 1, 2008.

1. ### benwedge macrumors newbie

Joined:
May 28, 2008
#1
Is it possible to define something as a constant in Numbers? For example, if I enter a series of values, I want to divide all of column 'A' by 'x' (each cell separately). I can't seem to find a way to do this without defining 'x' each time (I want 'x' to be a cell, so I can change the x-value as well).

For chemists out there, I'm trying to do standard deviation. The formula is √[{∑(xi-xavg)^2}/{n-1}]

The constant is for the volume. I have a mass, and it must be converted to volume by using the density at a specific temperature, so each mass, in column 'a', becomes a volume in a column 'b', then the formula is applied. I managed to do this with lots of tedious work, but I'd like to streamline it so that if I add more rows (perhaps I'm using 20 test masses one day instead of 3 or 4), I would like to be able to make that change by expanding table.

I'm fairly new to the magic of spreadsheets, and this type of application comes up quite often.

If someone could help me get going in the right direction here, it'd be greatly appreciated.

2. ### gauchogolfer macrumors 603

Joined:
Jan 28, 2005
Location:
American Riviera
#2
Wouldn't this work by just defining the 'x' value cell to be fixed using \$ identifiers like this: \$A\$1 for fixed reference to cell A1?

3. ### benwedge thread starter macrumors newbie

Joined:
May 28, 2008
#3
Thank you. I didn't know you could do that. After a bit of scouring, I found the STDEV function as well. It seems my search wasn't thorough enough before. Is there a reference to this \$A\$1 function in the help documents?

4. ### blodwyn macrumors 65816

Joined:
Jul 28, 2004
Location:
Portland, Oregon
#4
\$A\$1 is not a defined function, it's an absolute cell reference method that doesn't change if you copy it elsewhere on the spreadsheet, rather than a relative cell reference A1 which changes if you copy it. Surprisingly, I can find no reference to absolute cell referencing in the Numbers User Guide, however the way you use it is the same as in Excel. You also have the variants \$A1 and A\$1 which respectively mean absolute column/relative row, and relative column/absolute row.