Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Step By Step

Friday, May 25th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

Step By Step

Ever find yourself asking, “Now, how did Excel calculate that”?

Well, as most of you probably know, MS Excel uses the standard order of operations (yep, just like you learned in school) to evaluate formulas.

But, even with that knowledge, it’s possible that you’re not realizing exactly the order of how things will be done.

If you catch yourself debating a set of parentheses or wondering about the order Excel will use to evaluate your formula, here’s a quick way to see precisely what’s happening, step by step.

First, you need to select the cell with the formula.

Now, we need the Tools menu, Formula Auditing submenu, Evaluate Formula choice. Or, if you have the Formula Auditing toolbar open, you can use the Evaluate Formula button.

The Formula Auditing window will open first, displaying the formula as it is in the cell.

At this point, you need to click the Evaluate button at the bottom.

For every click, you’ll see that Excel takes one (and only one) step in the formula evaluation process. You can tell which step will be next by the underline. Whatever is underlined will be next.

It first starts out by replacing cell references with their values and then it moves on to actually using the order of operations to complete the math.

When you’ve either seen enough or gotten to the final answer, click the Close button to get back to the workbook.

There you have it. Step by step formula evaluation and removing all the “math mysteries” they can pose!

~ April

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive