Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
• Display the Go to Special dialog box. Select the Dependents option and then select either Direct Only (for
direct dependents only) or All Levels (for direct and indirect dependents). Click OK. Excel selects the cells
that depend on the active cell. This technique is limited to identifying cells on the active sheet only.
• Press Ctrl+] to select all direct dependent cells on the active sheet.
• Press Ctrl+Shift+] to select all dependent cells (direct and indirect) on the active sheet.
• Choose Formulas ⇒ Formula Auditing ⇒ Trace Dependents. Excel draws arrows to indicate the cell's de-
pendents. Click this button multiple times to see additional levels of dependents. Choose Formulas ⇒ For-
mula Auditing ⇒ Remove Arrows to hide the arrows.
Tracing error values
If a formula displays an error value, Excel can help you identify the cell that is causing that error value. An er-
ror in one cell is often the result of an error in a precedent cell. Activate a cell that contains an error value and
choose Formulas ⇒ Formula Auditing ⇒ Error Checking ⇒ Trace Error. Excel draws arrows to indicate the error
Fixing circular reference errors
If you accidentally create a circular reference formula, Excel displays a warning message, displays Circular Re-
ference (with the cell address) in the status bar, and draws arrows on the worksheet to help you identify the
If you can't figure out the source of the problem, use Formulas ⇒ Formula Auditing ⇒ Error Checking ⇒ Circular
References. This command displays a list of all cells that are involved in the circular references. Start by select-
ing the first cell listed and then work your way down the list until you figure out the problem.
Using background error checking
Some people may find it helpful to take advantage of Excel's automatic error-checking feature. This feature is
enabled or disabled via the Enable Background Error Checking check box, on the Formulas tab of the Excel
Options dialog box shown in Figure 22-11. In addition, you can specify which types of errors to check for by
using the check boxes in the Error Checking Rules section.