Excel Tip of the Week: Tracing Precedents

Today’s topic is tracing precedents.

Sometimes spreadsheets can get really big and formulas become very complicated. In those situations it can be hard to tell exactly which cell a formula is referring to. Excel gives you a few ways to deal with this situation.

One way is to use the “trace precedents” option. If you use the trace precedents feature, Excel will insert arrows into the spreadsheet to show you which cells are being used in the function. Here is a picture of a very basic example:

To use this feature, click the “Formulas” menu on the ribbon and then from the “Formula Auditing” group click on “Trace Precedents.”(PC Keyboard shortcut: Alt → M → P)

Here is an example if some of your data is on another worksheet:


You’re able to trace as many precedents as you like and fill up your entire spreadsheet with arrows, but once you’re ready to get rid of the arrows you can use the “Remove Arrows” feature.

To do this, click the “Formulas” menu and then from the “Formula Auditing” group click on “Remove Arrows” (PC Keyboard shortcut: Alt → M → A → A).

About Doug Midkiff

I’m really good at Excel. I’m also a Texan, which seems to be a trend among OwenBloggers these days (you can’t stop us, you can only hope to contain us). After graduating from Texas, (Hook’em) I spent four years as a financial analyst before finding my way to Owen where I’m concentrating in finance with an emphasis on real estate. I love my wife, indie coffee shops, disc golf, soccer, web comics, Google maps, urbanism, sustainability, and warm weather.
This entry was posted in Doug Midkiff '12, Excel Tip of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Excel Tip of the Week: Tracing Precedents

  1. paydayloans says:

    Whɑt’s Taking placе i am new to tҺis, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively սseful aոd іt has helped mе
    oսt loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & Һelp differeոt customers like its hhelped mе.

    Great job.

  2. Hey there! Do you employ Twitter? I’d want to follow an individual if that would be ok. I’m without doubt enjoying your blog and enjoy new content.
    wholesale nba jerseys http://tariswenson.webs.com/nba

  3. bottes ugg says:

    serial number,58 sur iTespressoCPU-Z est un utilitaire gratuit qui vous fournit des informations sur les principaux composants de votre syst

  4. to be officially recognised as English football’s most successful team domestically.Police said the death is being treated as unexplained. as he returned home from work.Follow with a couple of kiwi fruits.5. The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays the Geordie plants – who were subjected to Geordie Shore,

  5. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>