The $ Formula


A consultant I worked with was tasked with building a graph showing our portfolio growth over time. The graph needed to be a 12-month trailing horizontal axis which uses the (already recorded) dates for when any new project is triggered for provisioning. On the vertical axis, we wanted to track the sum of the project sizes that were triggered a given that month.

In the dedicated metrics sheet for this chart (see image below to make sense of what's going on)

The consultant derived the year from the Today column and subtracted the manually-entered number of days above it (column 1). Here is the formula that was used in the cell [12 months]2:

=YEAR($Today@row - [12 Months]1)

He also used it to determine the Month values [12 months]3:

=MONTH($Today@row - 360)

My question is... What does the $ do to the Today function? I cannot find any information on this anywhere on smartsheets' formula glossary or in any online discussion. I don't want to break the metrics sheet but the data is currently not summing correctly and noticed that this could be a problem down the line, but I am not sure.


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    I hope you're well and safe!

    It's an Absolute Reference.

    Create an absolute reference

    You may have situations, such as when referencing a table with the VLOOKUP function, where you need to prevent Smartsheet from automatically updating cell references when a formula is moved or copied. To do this, create an absolute cell reference. Learn more about function reference.

    To create an absolute reference, type $ (a dollar sign) in front of the column name or row number in the cell reference of your formula. For example, if you move or copy the following formula, the column names and row numbers will not change for the cell references:

    =$[Column A]$1 * $[Column B]$1

    The following formula has absolute references to only the row numbers. If you move or copy the formula, the column references will change respectively based on the formula’s new location:

    =[Column A]$1 * [Column B]$1

    The following formula will maintain absolute references to the columns. If you move or copy the formula, the row numbers will change respectively based on the formula’s new location:

    =$[Column A]1 * $[Column B]1

    Make sense?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe, and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

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