Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What’s Happening in the Background?...

Have you ever inherited an Excel workbook, and had trouble figuring out how it works?  There are times in any Excel user's life when you're just not sure what is going on behind the scenes in your workbook.  This is an important concern, so let’s look a couple of Key Techniques for investigation of this nature.

1)  Precedents and Dependents?

Do you need a tool to see what your data is doing and where it comes from?  The Formula Auditing group on the Formulas tab is where you should go!  There you will find a great deal of help enabling you to Trace Precedents, Trace Dependents, and even Show Formulas. The information is returned in easily-understood graphics that help you make sense of the workbook you inherited from old what’s-his-name (why didn’t he leave some notes?...).

2)  Formulas in My Workbook?

Okay, let’s click on each cell and see if there are Formulas at work.  Ha, what a drag that would be!  Rather than clicking on individual cells, (as you needed to do in some of the older versions of Excel), you can reveal all of this information in your entire worksheet with the following cool little Keyboard Shortcut (you may know that I am big fan of keyboard shortcuts!):

Ctrl + ~

This simple keyboard combination immediately unveils the formulas in All of your cells, from which you can then determine if there is a flaw in their construction (old what’s-his-name did have his off days…).

If you are ever faced with a mysterious workbook, these two Investigative Tools can make your Excel life a log easier.  (And “Easier” is a good thing…).

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