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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Correcting Formulas

Excel has several tools to help you find and correct problems with formulas. One tool is the Watch window and another is the Error checker. The Watch window keeps track of cells and their formulas as you make changes to a worksheet. Excel uses an error checker in the same way Microsoft Word uses a grammar checker. The Error checker uses certain rules, such as using the wrong argument type, a number stored as text or an empty cell reference, to check for problems in formulas.

Watch Cells and Formulas

  • yellow-01.jpg Select the cells you want to watch.
  • yellow-02.jpg Click the Formulas tab.
  • yellow-03.jpg Click the Watch Window button.
  • yellow-04.jpg Click the Add Watch button on the Watch Window dialog box.
  • yellow-05.jpg Click Add.
  • yellow-06.jpg Click Close.

Remove Cells from the Watch Window

  • yellow-01.jpg Click the Formulas tab.
  • yellow-02.jpg Click the Watch Window button.
  • yellow-03.jpg Select the cells you want to delete. Use the Ctrl key to select multiple cells.
  • yellow-04.jpg Click Delete Watch.
  • yellow-05.jpg Click Close.

Set Error Checking Options

  • yellow-01.jpg Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  • yellow-02.jpg In the left pane, click Formulas.
  • yellow-03.jpg Select the Enable background error checking check box.
  • yellow-04.jpg Point to the help icons at the end of the error checking rule options to display a ScreenTip describing the rule.
  • yellow-05.jpg Select the error checking rules check boxes you want to use.
  • yellow-06.jpg Click OK.

Correct Errors

  • yellow-01.jpg Open the worksheet where you want to check for errors.
  • yellow-02.jpg Click the Formulas tab.
  • yellow-03.jpg Click the Error Checking button.
  • The error checker scans the worksheet for errors, generating the Error Checking dialog box every time it encounters an error.
  • yellow-04.jpg If necessary, click Resume.
  • yellow-05.jpg Choose a button to correct or ignore the problem.

    • Help on this error.
    • Show Calculation Steps. Click Evaluate to see results.
    • Ignore Error.
    • Edit in Formula Bar.
    • Previous or Next.
  • yellow-06.jpg If necessary, click Close.
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