Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 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: Changing Error Checking Rules.

Changing Error Checking Rules

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 20, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 2002 and 2003


When Excel 2002 or Excel 2003 does background checking of your worksheet for errors, it follows a set number of rules. You can modify the rules that Excel follows through these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Error Checking tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Error Checking tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Enable Background Error Checking check box is selected.
  5. Clear or set the checkboxes at the bottom of the dialog box, each of which specifies a different error-checking rule that Excel can follow.
  6. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2370) applies to Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing Error Checking Rules.

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. ...

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