Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Tracing Dependent Cells.

Tracing Dependent Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 26, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

You can use the tools on the Formulas tab of the ribbon (in the Formula Auditing group) to determine relationships between cells in your worksheet. For instance, you might want to determine which cells refer to a value in a particular cell. All you need to do is select the cell in question and then click on the Trace Dependents tool. If there are any other cells that refer to the selected cell in a formula, Excel draws arrows between the cells. This allows you to graphically see the relationship between cells.

If you click on the Trace Dependents tool again, Excel displays not just the direct dependents, but the first level of indirect dependents as well. Clicking your mouse on the Remove Arrows tool removes one of the levels of auditing arrows. If you only want to remove some of the arrows, click the down-arrow to the right of the Remove Arrows tool to see your options.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8626) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Tracing Dependent Cells.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Undoing Smart Tag Exclusions

Depending on who you ask, Smart Tags can be really cool or really distracting. If you fall on the "cool" side, you may ...

Discover More

Discovering Dependent Workbooks

When you starting linking information from one workbook to another, those workbooks become dependent on each other. ...

Discover More

Shortcut to Enter GMT

Entering the current time into a cell is easy, as Excel provides a built-in shortcut to accomplish the task. Here's a ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Tracing Precedent Cells

Cells that affect another cell are called precedent cells. If you need to know which cells affect a particular cell, ...

Discover More

Counting with Subtotals

There are a variety of ways you can count information in different groupings. One convenient way is to use the ...

Discover More

Inserting a Sound File in Your Worksheet

Some worksheets are better understood through the spoken word or with musical accompaniment. Sound files can be easily ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 4?

2023-08-26 11:16:09

J. Woolley

For more on this subject, see https://excelribbon.tips.net/T008271_Accessing_Dependent_and_Precedent_Information.html


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.