Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Error Checking
Solving Formula
Errors
Tip: Nothing prevents you from tracing the precedents for a bunch of different cells: just move to another
cell and repeat the process for each cell you want to trace, one after the other. You can see all the arrows
at once, which can make for a tangled worksheet. When you click Remove Arrows, Excel removes all the
precedent arrows and any dependent arrows for every cell you’ve traced. You can remove the arrows for
just one cell by moving to it, and then choosing Formulas➝Formula Auditing➝Remove Precedent Arrows.
You can trace dependents in the same way that you trace precedents—just choose
Formulas Formula Auditing Trace Dependents (see Figure 18-5). If you click Trace
Dependents and cell A1 is selected, Excel adds an arrow connecting A1 to any other
cells that refer to A1.
Figure 18-5:
If you click Trace
Dependents on cell H2,
Excel indicates that
this cell is used in the
average calculation
in cell H15. However,
it isn’t the only value
that cell H15 uses. To
see all the precedents,
you’d need to move
to H15, and then click
Trace Precedents.
There really isn’t a difference between precedent and dependent arrows—they’re just
two different ways of looking at the same idea. In fact, every arrow Excel draws
connects one precedent to one dependent. Finally, Excel’s tracing tools also work
with formulas that aren’t working (which is important, after all, when it comes to
troubleshooting). Figure 18-6 shows how the tool works when your formulas are
generating error codes.
Error Checking
Sometimes, you may have a large worksheet containing a number of errors that are
widely distributed. Rather than hunt for these errors by scrolling endlessly, you can
jump straight to the offending cells using Excel’s error-checking feature.
 
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