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Trace Error in Excel – Instructions and Video Lesson

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Trace Error in Excel - Instructions: A picture of formula auditing arrows shown in a worksheet after using the Trace Error tool in Excel.

Trace Error in Excel: Overview

            Trace Error in Excel lets you trace arrows back to cells referenced by a formula if it displays an error. The Trace Error tool is available when auditing a worksheet within a workbook. Note that the formula cell that you select must contain an error to use the Trace Error tool in Excel.

            To use Trace Error in Excel, first select the formula cell with the error displayed in it. Then click the “Formulas” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Trace Error” drop-down button in the “Formula Auditing” button group. Finally, select the “Trace Error” command in the drop-down menu to draw arrows to the cells causing the error.

            Invalid or inaccurate cell referencing is often a common cause of formula errors within Excel worksheets. Using the Trace Error tool in Excel shows you the cells referenced by a selected formula that contains an error message. If the cell referencing turns out to be the reason why the formula will not function, you can then fix the cell references within the formula cell to correct the error.

Trace Error in Excel - Instructions: A picture of formula auditing arrows shown in a worksheet after using the Trace Error tool in Excel.

Trace Error in Excel – Instructions: A picture of formula auditing arrows shown in a worksheet after using the Trace Error tool in Excel.

Trace Error in Excel: Instructions

  1. To use Trace Error in Excel, select the formula cell with the error displayed in it.
  2. Click the “Trace Error” drop-down button in the “Formula Auditing” button group on the “Formulas” tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Then select the “Trace Error” command in the drop-down menu to draw arrows to the cells causing the error.

Trace Error in Excel: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Tracing Errors,” shows you how to use Trace Error in Excel. This video lesson is from our complete Excel tutorial, titled “Mastering Excel Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”

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