If you are searching for some special tricks to use trace precedents and dependents in Excel then you have landed in the right place. While using the formula, you may need to find out the location of the cell references and for this, you can use the trace precedents and dependents in Excel. This article will show you each and every step with proper illustrations so, you can easily apply them for your purpose. Let’s get into the central part of the article.
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What Are Trace Precedents and Trace Dependents Features?
In Excel, we use formulas with cell references, and thus, the formula cell becomes dependent on those cells. Trace precedent and dependent feature help to you to show up the relation between the cells.
This feature will show up the cells that are affecting the active cell value. There will show an arrow from the controlling cells to the result cells to identify the trace precedents. Suppose, you have selected a cell C13 with the formula “=SUM(C8:C12)”. Then, the cell range C8:C12 is the trace precedent for the active cell.
This feature will show up the dependent cells of a cell or the cells where there are created cell references using the selected cell. In other words, trace dependent feature identifies the cells that are affected by the selected cell. Suppose, you have selected a cell C13 with the formula “=SUM(C8:C12)”. Now, if you select cell C8 and want to identify the trace dependents of this cell then, it will show up the cell C13.
Read More: How to Trace Dependents to Another Sheet in Excel
Steps to Trace Precedents and Dependents in Excel
In this section, I will show you the quick and easy steps to use Trace Precedents and Dependents in Excel on Windows operating system. You will find detailed explanations with clear illustrations of each thing in this article. I have used Microsoft 365 version here. But you can use any other versions as of your availability. If anything of this article doesn’t work in your version then leave us a comment.
✅ Prepare Dataset
First, you have to make the dataset ready with the appropriate formula and cell references as of your need. Then, you may need to use trace precedents or dependents to showcase the relationship between the cells.
✅ Use Trace Precedents Feature
When you have the Excel file ready then you will use the Trace Precedents feature. For this, follow the steps below:
- First, select the cell for which you want to show trace precedents. It will be the active cell.
- Then, go to the Formulas tab on the top ribbon.
- Now, in the Formula Editing menu, select the Trace Precedents
- As a result, you will see that there will create a blue arrow that is directed to the active cell with some bold dots in it. The meaning of the arrow is that the cells where the dots of the arrow exists are the precedents of the active cell formula. And the cells where no dots are created are not the precedents of the active cell.
✅ Use Trace Dependents Feature
Similarly, you can use the Trace Dependents feature to identify the dependent cells of the active cell. Follow the below steps for this-
- Similarly here, you have to select the cell for which you want to identify the trace dependents.
- Then, go to the Formulas tab in the top ribbon.
- Now, select the Trace Precedents option in the Formula Editing menu
- As a result, there will be created blue arrows from the active to the dependent cells. Thus, you can trace dependent cells of the active cells in the active Excel worksheet.
Shortcuts for Trace Precedents and Dependents Feature:
You can use a simple keyboard shortcut to trace the precedents and dependent cells in Excel.
- To use the shortcuts, you have to select the cell first.
- Then, click the shortcut keys in the keyboard as shown below-
Trace Precedents Shortcut
Trace Dependents Shortcut
Read More: How to Trace Dependents Across Sheets in Excel (2 Easy Ways)
✅ Remove Trace Arrow or Blue Arrow from Excel Worksheet
If you may need to remove the trace arrows or the blue arrows in the Excel worksheet then you can follow the steps below:
- First, go to the Formula tab in the top ribbon.
- Select the “Remove Arrows” option here and you will see all arrows will be removed in a moment.
In this article, you have found how to use Trace Precedents and Dependents in Excel. I hope you found this article helpful. You can visit our website ExcelDemy to learn more Excel-related content. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.