How to trace precedents in Excel formulas? [tip+music from Prague]

Excel Howtos - 3 comments

Dobré ráno

That’s good morning in Czech. Hello from Prague. I am here as part of our Euro trip. Next stop is Munich before we go home to Wellington. So far, this trip has been beautiful and fun.

howto trace precedents in excel - formula auditing tip

A secret tip about tracing precedents in Excel

I want to share a very useful and almost secret Excel tip with you all. Imagine you are looking at a big, complex workbook with lots of calculations. You want to understand where everything is pointing to and how the workbook is set up.

Don’t worry, there is a feature in Excel to do this. It’s tracing precedents / dependents. If you select a cell and click on the trace precedents (or trace dependents) button in Formula ribbon, then Excel will draw arrows to all connected cells. This helps you visualize how everything is linked up.

Now comes the secret part. You can double click on the lines to go to the linked cells / ranges / tables!!!

I explain all of this in a short video. It has live music from Prague streets too. Czech it out 😉

Want more on formula auditing?

See complete overview of Excel’s auditing features or learn how to use Go to special to your advantage. Select & press F9 to calculate portions of your formulas to see and debug results.

That is all for now.


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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3 Responses to “How to trace precedents in Excel formulas? [tip+music from Prague]”

  1. Chihiro says:

    Another great tool is Spreadsheet Inquire add-in from MS. It gives multi-level bi-directional dependency map to a given cell.

    However, it's only available for Pro Plus SKU and starting Excel 2013.

  2. Ankit Singh says:

    Thank you so much, sir, for writing this wonderful post. I am glad that you wrote this informative article.

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