Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 10, 2016)
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, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Tracing Dependent Cells.
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!
The Trace Precedents auditing tool can be quite helpful in seeing which cells "feed into" a particular formula. The ...Discover More
You've turned on Highlight Changes, but how do you know what has been changed? This tip explains how Excel displays those ...Discover More
The auditing tools provided in Excel can provide some very helpful information about how your formulas and data are ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.