Hopefully this is a very basic question. There may be a simpler way to solve my problem, so I'll go over that first then ask the question I'm trying to ask.

My problem: I want A1=0 A2=1 A3=2 ... A500=499

My thought is to do something like "=[A:This-1]+1" where This is the number of the cell I'm currently working in. Is there a 'This' variable equivalent? Or some way to say always use the cell above instead of having to go through all 500 cells and count?

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    =ROW(A1)-1 and populate down – cybernetic.nomad Sep 18 '18 at 21:24
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    @cybernetic.nomad - you can save a byte or two with =ROW()-1. Edit: Or, in A1, just enter 0, then in A2, =A1+1 and drag down. Or... – BruceWayne Sep 18 '18 at 21:29
  • @BruceWayne - never knew that one! -- thanks! – cybernetic.nomad Sep 18 '18 at 21:32
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    @BruceWayne I could be wrong, but I believe ROW() is a volatile function. Apparently it depends what web page you reads to whether or not ROW() is a volatile function. – Forward Ed Sep 18 '18 at 21:41

To get something similar to =[A:This-1]+1, try using =INDIRECT("A"&ROW()-1)+1

ROW() will give you the row number of the cell that the formula is in (15 if the formula is in B15) and subtract 1 (14). INDIRECT will then get the value in A14 and add 1 (25 if the value in A14 is 24).

If you need to also do relative math on the column, you can use the ADDRESS function like so:


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