Formula Auditing

 

Trace Precedents | Remove Arrows | Trace Dependents | Show Formulas | Error Checking | Evaluate Formula

Formula auditing in Excel allows you to display the relationship between formulas and cells. The example below helps you master Formula Auditing quickly and easily.

Formula Auditing Example

Trace Precedents

You have to pay $96.00. To show arrows that indicate which cells are used to calculate this value, execute the following steps.

1. Select cell C13.

2. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Trace Precedents.

Trace Precedents

Result:

Trace Precedents First Level Result

As expected, Total cost and Group size are used to calculate the Cost per person.

3. Click Trace Precedents again.

Trace Precedents Second Level Result

As expected, the different costs are used to calculate the Total cost.

Remove Arrows

To remove the arrows, execute the following steps.

1. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Remove Arrows.

Remove Arrows

Trace Dependents

To show arrows that indicate which cells depend on a selected cell, execute the following steps.

1. Select cell C12.

2. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Trace Dependents.

Trace Dependents

Result:

Trace Dependents Result

As expected, the Cost per person depends on the Group size.

Show Formulas

By default, Excel shows the results of formulas. To show the formulas instead of their results, execute the following steps.

1. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Show Formulas.

Show Formulas

Result:

Show Formulas Result

Note: instead of clicking Show Formulas, you can also press CTRL + (`). You can find this key above the tab key.

Error Checking

To check for common errors that occur in formulas, execute the following steps.

1. Enter the value 0 into cell C12.

#DIV/0! Error

2. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Error Checking.

Error Checking

Result. Excel finds an error in cell C13. The formula tries to divide a number by 0.

Error Checking Result

Evaluate Formula

To debug a formula by evaluating each part of the formula individually, execute the following steps.

1. Select cell C13.

2. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Evaluate Formula.

Evaluate Formula

3. Click Evaluate four times.

Click Evaluate Four Times

Excel shows the formula result.

Evaluate Formula Result

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