Build models & dashboards faster with Watch Window


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Here is a familiar scenario: You are building a dashboard. Naturally, it has a few worksheets – data, assumptions, calculations and output. As you make changes to input data, you constantly switch to calculations (or output) page to check if the numbers are calculating as desired. This back and forth is slows you down.

Use Watch Window to reduce development time.

What is Watch Window:

Watch Window allows you to monitor values in other worksheets. This is very useful when you are testing your calculations / model. As you make changes to the input values / assumptions, Watch Window instantly reports the output values. See below demo to understand how Watch Window helps you.


How to Set up Watches?

Simple. Follow below steps:


  1. Go to Formulas ribbon tab and activate Watch Window from Auditing area.


  2. Select the cell(s) you want to add as Watches and click on “Add Watch” button on Watch Window
  3. The Watch Window stays visible until you close it. Edit input values to see the results in Watch Window instantly.


Adding Watches for VBA

Of course, Watches are a feature in almost all programming editors. Naturally, VBE also supports Watches. To add a watch to a variable / expression, just select it, right click and add Watch from the context menu.

Once you add a watch, you can monitor the expression / variable values when your code breaks. Alternatively, you can also ask VBE to break the code whenever your watch value changes.

Do you use watches?

Whenever I am developing complex pieces of VBA code or a big workbooks, I rely on watches to cut down the developing / testing time. They are very useful, light weight and simple.

What about you? Do you use watches in Excel? Share your experience in the comments section.

More ways to debug your formulas / VBA code

Check out below tips to learn more about formula / VBA code debugging:


VBA Development

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7 Responses to “Build models & dashboards faster with Watch Window”

  1. Garyk says:

    yes, I use watches in excel vb

  2. ANAND says:

    Dear Chandoo,

    This is a quite useful for myself. I highly appreciate your efforts for acquainting us with this value adding and time saving tip.

  3. Luke M says:

    I'll admit it, I never saw this feature before. I was familiar with using Watch Window in VB, but not in workbook. I'll definitely use this in future when building dashboards!

  4. harshit says:

    it was always great reading your blog, one thing that i want to know, which tool you are using to create such gif image?

  5. Amit says:

    it was also a nice post,,,,,, sir

  6. Pulkit Trivedi says:

    Hello Sir,

    Really very nice post. I didn't use this features in past. But now going to use it..

    Thanks a lot for every time come up with something new..


  7. Hiren Shukla says:

    Very Nice post sir.

    Every Time posting something new.. Thanks a lot

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