Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Checking for Errors Automatically One at a Time
Starting Cell
Arrows Trace
Dependent Cells
Follow these steps instead, if you want to trace
a cell’s precedents (cells whose value affects the
value of the current cell). You do not need to
clear any previously displayed arrows if you don’t
want to.
1. Click the cell whose precedents you want to
2. Click the Trace Precedents button on the
Formulas tab. Blue arrow(s) point from
the selected cell to any cells referenced by the
formula in that cell, as shown in Figure 4-11.
Arrows Trace Precedent Cells
Starting Cell
Figure 4-10
Arrows point to dependent cell(s).
Understanding Excel’s
Tracing Icons
Sometimes Excel uses a red arrow to trace
dependents/precedents. The red arrows tell
you that a dependent or precedent cell
contains an error. In addition, sometimes
you may see an arrow pointing to a small
worksheet icon. This icon tells you that the
dependent/precedent cell is located on
another worksheet or workbook.
Figure 4-11
Arrows point to precedent cell(s).
3. To trace precedency further, click the Trace
Precedent button again. Arrows point from
the original precedent cells identified in
Step 2, to any cell(s) upon which their values
To clear the arrows from the screen,
click the Remove Arrows button on the
Formulas tab.
4. Repeat Step 3 to trace precedents back as far
as you want to go. When there are no more
precedents, Excel beeps to tell you so.
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