Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Checking for Errors Automatically One at a Time
Evaluating a Formula
Another way in which you can determine the
problem with a formula is to evaluate it.
Evaluating is especially helpful when trying to
troubleshoot complex formulas with lots of
parentheses, because evaluating allows you to
review exactly how Excel is solving each step of
the formula. As you evaluate a formula, Excel
solves the formula’s first step and displays that
intermediate result. When you’re ready, Excel
continues, solving the next step, and so on,
until the formula is solved and the final result
is displayed.
3. Click the Evaluate button. Excel solves the
first step in the formula, which is underlined.
In this case, the formula is
=IF(\$A16=“”,“”,VLOOKUP(\$A16,Products,3)).
Excel is moving left to right in this formula,
so it looks up the value in cell A16 in
preparation for comparing whether A16
equals “” (blank). So after you click Evaluate,
in the Evaluation box, Excel displays
IF(BL105=“”,“”,VLOOKUP(\$A16,Products,3)).
Tip
If the underlined reference in the formula
is a reference to another formula, you can
it step by step by clicking the Step In
button. Click Step Out after evaluating
formula to finish its evaluation.
Follow these steps to evaluate a formula:
1. Click a cell containing a formula.
2. Click the Evaluate Formula button on the
Formulas tab. The Evaluate Formula window
appears, as shown in Figure 4-7.
Actual
Formula
Evaluation of
Formula
4. Click the Evaluate button again to solve the
next step in the formula. See Figure 4-8.
In this next step, the formula appears as
IF(FALSE,“”,VLOOKUP((\$A16,Products,3))
because the value in cell A16 is not blank.
Figure 4-8
After you click Evaluate again, Excel solves
the next step in the formula.
Figure 4-7
Evaluate a complex formula step by step.

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