Friday, October 20, 2017

Excel Tutorial: Auditing Formulas with Trace Precedents

If you have formulas that are based on the contents of another cell, you have precedent cells. If you have problems with a formula or result, you can trace the precedent cells to help track down the problem. The Trace Precedents command is useful to see the trail of data relationships. The Trace Precedents command allows you to show tracer arrows to show the relationship between the active cell and the precedents to that cell. 


  • Tracer arrows are blue when pointing from a cell that provides data to another cell.
  • Red tracer arrows indicate an erroneous value.
  • Tracer arrows are black when pointing from a cell in another worksheet.
  • The other worksheet is represented by a worksheet icon. 



If you prefer, watch the Video Tutorial below.




If tracer arrows do not show, you will need to turn on the objects in the Options window. 

Use the following procedure.
  • Select the File Tab
  • Select Options.
  • Select the Advanced tab.
  • Under the Display options for this workbook, make sure the workbook you are using is displayed.
  • The For objects, show option should be All.




If a cell has a precedent that is in another worksheet, the other worksheet must be open.



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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Excel Tutorial: Align Cells

In this Excel Tutorial: Align Cells, you'll learn the basic alignment techniques to make your data visually attractive. You'll also learn keyboard shortcuts for cell alignment.

If you prefer video, you may view the Excel Tutorial using the video below.

To align cells in Excel, it's quite simple.

Simply select the area you would like to align, typically this would be an entire column. If the entire column needs to be aligned a specific way, then click the Column Header to make the changes to the entire column.

Once the area is selected, click the alignment option you wish by using the "Alignment" area on the "Home" tab.




Options include:

  • Top, Middle, and Bottom Alignment for Vertical Alignment
  • Left, Center, and Right Alignment for Horizontal Alignment
  • Wrap Text to wrap the text within the cell
  • Merge and Center to merge data and center it across multiple cell
    • NOTE: Excel will give you a warning if you are merging data over existing data
  • And there are some indentation options as well


Here are a few keyboard shortcuts for these same functions to align cells:


  • CTRL + E = Center align 
  • CTRL + J = Justify align
  • CTRL + L = Left align
  • CTRL + R = Right align



Watch this brief video tutorial, if you prefer.



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