# Range notation and current row

I wonder how does work the following and is it documented somewhere?

I have the sheet:

``````A         B
-----------------
1
2
3         =\$A:\$A
4
5         =\$A:\$A
``````

For column B (row 3 and 5) I see corresponding values from column A. It looks like `=\$A:\$A` (or even `=\$A\$2:\$A\$5` etc) works like `=\$A\$3` and `=\$A\$5` in some automagical manner (and no needs to specify different formulas for every cell in B).

I like such behaviour but wish to be sure that it is a reliable solution.

• I was thinking about it but not sure that it answers. `=\$A:\$A` neither returns full list of values from \$A:\$A nor extends values to multiple rows. It looks that Sheets automatically replaces `=\$A:\$A` with something like `=INDEX(\$A:\$A; ROW())` but it is not obvious. – crazyh Mar 24 '18 at 1:00

• standalone `=\$A:\$A` means nothing, but if you use it in an array like `=ARRAYFORMULA(=\$A:\$A)` and you have some input in A column then it will return you everything you have in A column

• if you want to get cell notation of current row type in `=ROW()` and for full notation try:

• `=ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN(), 4)`
• `=ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN(), 3)`
• `=ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN(), 2)`
• `=ADDRESS(ROW(), COLUMN(), 1)`

• > standalone =\$A:\$A means nothing I was thinking so but see docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/…. It looks like =\$A:\$A works like some kind of array getter "=\$A:\$A[ROW()]". And I still did not find where such behaviour documented. – crazyh Jan 18 '19 at 23:17
• But I do not use ARRAYFORMULA but `="A:A is " & A:A` expands to 'A:A is 2', 'A:A is 5' etc. And it is not clear how to call such type of reference. – crazyh Jan 20 '19 at 1:47
• How it can be "nothing" when in test sheet above it is alone and is anything? And Sheets somehow knows that only single row from A:A matrix should be displayed. – crazyh Jan 20 '19 at 2:13