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.”
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