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Excel 2003: About Auditing

Excel 2003: About Auditing

With formula auditing, you can actually trace the origins of your formulas. What’s more, you can track formulas the other direction, as well. In other words, not only can you trace which cells are involved in which formulas, you can also trace which formulas use which cells.

Figure 10. Formula Auditing Toolbar


Figure 11. Tracer Example

For the purposes of this lesson, we’re going to focus solely on the Trace Precedents, Trace Dependents and Error Checking commands. When using the formula auditing feature, the formula and cell relationships are displayed with tracers, or arrows (see example at right).

With each tracer, the point of origin is denoted with a dot () while the arrow () shows the direction the data flows.

Let’s dissect the tracer example (at right). This tracer indicates two points of origin (27896 & 6674) in the formula result (34570). With tracers, you can quickly determine which cells a specific formula is using.