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Seeing The Roots

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

Seeing The Roots

Have you ever found yourself working on a complicated Excel formula and trying to decipher where it all comes from?

I mean, this formula references another cell but when you get there you find another formula that references yet another cell. And so it goes… on and on. (These endless cells are the “roots” of the formula in question.)


You bet.

Looking for a way to get Excel to show you all cells involved with one quick move?

Yeah, me too.

Next time you’re trying to figure it all out try this:

  • Select the cell with the formula in question.
  • Now press Ctrl + Shift + [

Yep, it’s that little key combination that can give you a quick look into the elements of a value.

What happens is that Excel highlights all cells that play into the value of the selected cell allowing you to see all that’s involved at once.

Sure beats trying to backtrack through the cells one by one!

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