Updated: 11/30/2020 by Computer Hope

A reference may refer to any of the following:


1. A reference is the act of mentioning something in writing or speech to back up a statement or source of information. See our cite term if you want to use Computer Hope as a reference in your book, paper, or another document.

When making a reference in writing, a reference mark is placed after the quote, and the reference is placed in the footer. Usually, the reference mark is an asterisk (*) or a superscript number. Below is an example of how a reference may appear in a document.

Computer Hope offers free computer help.*
Computer Hope has been offering free help since 1998.1

2. With a job or résumé, a reference is a company or person you have had experience with and can be called and asked questions. For example, an owner or manager of a company where you've worked is a good reference.

3. In Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs, a reference refers to an absolute cell reference or relative cell reference.

Business terms, Format, Spreadsheet terms