Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Tracing cell references
Notice that the cells containing errors display small, green, triangular indicators in their
upper-left corners, as shown in Figure 8-67, and when you select one of these cells, a
floating Trace Error button appears. Clicking the button displays a menu of applicable actions,
including Trace Error, a command you can also find on the menu that appears when you
click the arrow to the right of the Error Checking button on the Formulas tab, as shown in
Figure 8-68.
Figure 8-68 Select a cell that contains an error value, and click Trace Error to display arrows that
trace the error to its source.
When you click Trace Error, Excel selects the cell that contains the first formula in the error
chain and draws red arrows from that cell to the cell you selected, as you can see in Figure
8-68. Excel draws blue arrows to the cell that contains the first erroneous formula from the
values the formula uses. It’s up to you to determine the reason for the error; Excel takes you
to the source formula and shows you the precedents. In our example, the error is caused by
a space character inadvertently entered in cell B6, replacing the hours-worked figure. This is
a common, vexing problem because cells containing space characters appear to be empty,
but a truly empty cell would not have produced an error in this case.
Tracing references to other worksheets
If a cell contains a reference to a different worksheet or to a worksheet in another
workbook, a dashed tracer arrow appears with a small icon attached, as shown in Figure 8-69.
You cannot continue to trace precedents using the same procedure from the active cell
when a dashed tracer arrow appears.
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