Tracing in Excel
Excel allows you to trace precedents, dependents, and errors. For example to trace precedents or in other words to trace the linked cells to the summed or calculated cell, follow these steps:
- Open up a new spreadsheet in Excel.
- Enter the following data:
Enter 5 in A7
Enter 15 in C1
Enter 5 in C7 and E7
Enter the formula =sum(A7+C1+C7+E7) in C12
- The sum in C12 should be 30. Now select Tools, Auditing, Trace Precedents. Just look at the fancy drawing, right?
Notice that there are other traces such as Dependents for tracing the dependency of cells that contain formulas, or Trace Error that will help in troubleshooting errored cells. Of course, you can also use this tip to make diagrams by using more than one Trace Precedent cell. For example just try putting an =sum(A7+C7) in cell B7 and then select Tools, Auditing, Trace Precedents and you will have an arrow. Experiment, it can be fun.
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