Default absolute or relative cell references

How to work in a calc environment default of absolute cell references versus relative cell references, or switch back and forth?

I have the ability to manipulate reference addressing only when cell editing. Failed to find an interface that sets absolute or relative addressing as a default mode. This could also include sheet and file cell references. Hopefully it’s right in front of me.

Hi. Do you mean using Excel R1C1 relative referencing? You can change in Tools | Options , then scroll down to Libreoffice Calc | Formula then go to Formula syntax.


  • Tools/Options NA in Mac OS LO v6.3.5.2, but ≈ LibreOffice/Preferences…/LibreOffice Calc/Formula/Formula Options/Formula Syntax, which is set to “Calc A1.”

  • Excel R1C1 setting changes address syntax, not address mode (sincerely, I cannot find a better term than mode)

  • R1C1 from Multiplan? No, just no. I had to look that up.

So, I’ll change my original question to emend the word “style.”

I guess what @skyhook wants is that when one clicks with mouse on a cell to define a reference in a formula, the reference would insert, say, absolute. No, there’s no way to do that.

An address consists of three parts: sheet name, column, row. All three may be relative and absolute. That gives you these possibilities (S is sheet name, C is column, R is row):


First is fully relative; last is fully absolute, 6 other are part-relative part-absolute. Any one may be used. Spreadsheets using fully absolute references predominantly are exceptionally rare; if you feel that you need to use absolute addresses by default, it must mean that you actually should re-think what and how you are doing (possibly study when and how to use relative and absolute addressing).

MK: Your paraphrasing is correct. Don’t forget file name! I know, I’ll stop there.

What followed seemed like a logical conclusion. Not that limited utility ever stopped a new feature when somebody wanted it bad enough, but I see your point. I’ve hit a dead end with other aspects of what used to be a simple spreadsheet, so I will focus on coming up with something, simple.

You should put that up as the answer, “not possible.” I don’t have the points to check self-answer off, apparently.