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: Forcing Stubborn Recalculation.

Forcing Stubborn Recalculation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2015)

Kirk wrote that he was having a problem with the recalculation of his worksheet. He mentions that the worksheet is complicated, and that pressing F9 does not get the spreadsheet to "recalculate correctly."

The first thing to try is to press Alt+F9 instead of just F9. When you press F9, Excel basically recalculates just the cells that have changed since the last time there was a recalculation. The Alt+F9 shortcut forces a recalculation of all cells in the worksheet.

If that doesn't do the trick, then you may have a problem that is sometimes evident with complex worksheets: The order of the calculations done by Excel. When you calculate a worksheet, Excel basically calculates the cells from left to right and top to bottom. If you have a very large worksheet, with lots of dependent calculations, and the calculations on which everything else is dependent are at the bottom or right side of the worksheet, then you may get incorrect results. (Remember, this happens only with the most complex of worksheets.) The answer is to reorganize your worksheets so that the primary calculations are placed near the top of the worksheet and as far left as possible, and the calculations that are based on those primary calculations are placed later in the worksheet.

If you still have problems with the worksheet, try saving it as an HTML file and then reloading it into Excel. This may sound odd, but the process may help clear out any corruption that may exist in the internal pointers used by Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2075) 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: Forcing Stubborn Recalculation.

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

Single-Use Drop-Down List

Want to create an easy drop-down list? You can do so by using the data validation features of Excel.

Discover More

Ages in Years and Months

Calculating an age is a common task when working with dates. If you want to figure out the number of years and months between ...

Discover More

Nudging a Graphic

If you need to move a graphic just a little bit in one direction or another, you can do so by using the techniques in this ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Viewing Workbook Statistics

Excel keeps track of a range of stats about each workbook you use. If you want to take a look at those stats, it's easy; just ...

Discover More

Getting Audible Feedback

Want to get a little bit of sound with your data? Excel can provide audible feedback that you may find helpful. Here's how.

Discover More

Saving Non-Existent Changes

Open a workbook, look at the data, start to close the workbook, and you are asked if you want to save your changes. What ...

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 for this tip:

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. 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 7 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Links and Sharing
Share