Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
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.
Learn more about Allen...
Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Tracing Dependent Cells.
You can use the tools on the Auditing toolbar 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 on the Auditing toolbar. 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 Dependent Arrows tool removes one of the levels of auditing arrows. You could also click your mouse on the Remove All Arrows tool to turn off all the arrows.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2244) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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!