5. Calculate New Ingredient Quantities

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Now that you have your conversion factor, you can use it to calculate the measurements for each ingredient based on how many servings you want to make.

To do this, you will add another formula.

To begin, add a column to show the new quantity of each ingredient you will need to make the new number of servings.

And add a column heading.

To find the new ingredient quantities, add a formula to multiply your original number of servings by your conversion factor.

Multiply one number by another by using an asterisk.

Copy your formula down the column by dragging the handle on the cell.

Now, check your work.

Hmm, those numbers don’t look right.

Click each cell to see the formulas.

Copying the formula caused it to reference incorrect cells for its calculations.

The formula you copied used relative cell references.

That means the formula multiplied each ingredient amount by the value in the blank cells in the conversion factor column -- zero -- instead of using the actual conversion factor every time.

Instead, use an absolute cell reference.

This tells your formula to always use the contents of a specific cell -- in this case your conversion factor -- to make calculations, even when the formula is moved or copied.

To create an absolute cell reference, add a dollar sign before both the column letter and row number for the cell that contains your conversion factor.

This tells the formula to always use the number in that specific cell.

Then, copy the formula to the rest of the column.

The quantities updated correctly because the formula always multiplied by your conversion factor.

Nice work!

If you change your recipe servings in the future, your new quantities will update automatically because you used relative and absolute cell references.


  1. Insert a column for the new ingredient quantities and add a column heading.
  2. Add a formula with relative and absolute cell references to calculate the new ingredient quantities.
  3. Copy it into the cells in the “New Quantity” column.