Excel Guides

How to Trace Precedent Cells in Excel

When you want to find out where a precedent cell is located, you can use the Trace Precedents feature in Excel. This feature allows you to trace cells that are referenced by the cell you are currently viewing. To use this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell whose precedent cells you want to trace. This is the cell whose precedents you want to find.
  2. On the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click Trace Precedents.
  3. If necessary, click Show Auditing Toolbar.
  4. Click the arrow next to Trace Precedents, and then click Trace Dependents.
  5. Click OK.

Excel will now display arrows that show all of the cells that are referenced by the cell you selected in Step 1. These arrows are called precedent arrows. If you want to see where a particular precedent arrow is pointing, simply hover your mouse over the arrow and Excel will display a tooltip that shows the address of the precedent cell. You can also double-click a precedent arrow to select the precedent cell.

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