Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Locating Circular References**

Locating Circular References

A
circular reference
occurs when a formula directly or indirectly refers to its own cell.

This causes the formula to use its result in the calculation, which can create errors. When a

workbook contains a circular reference, Excel cannot automatically perform calculations.

You can use error checking in Excel to locate circular references in a formula, and then

remove them. If you leave them in, Excel calculates each cell involved in the circular ref-

erence by using the results of the previous iteration. An iteration is a repeated recalcula-

tion until a specific numeric condition is met. By default, Excel stops calculating after 100

iterations or after all values in the circular reference change by less than 0.001 between

iterations, unless you change the Excel option.

Locate a Circular Reference

Click the
Formulas
tab.

Click the
Error Checking
button arrow, point to
Circular References
, and

then click the first cell listed in the submenu.

Review the formula cell.

If you cannot figure out if the cell is the cause of the circular reference, click

the next cell in the Circular References submenu, if available.

Continue to review and correct the circular reference until the status bar no

longer displays the word “Circular.”