Training day

Today’s course was Intermediate Excel, one of my favourites, delivered over Microsoft Teams. I particularly like the Intermediate level course, as it effectively takes Excel users from filling in other people’s spreadsheets to creating their own, and getting a good understanding of how it all works. There is a lot of work on functions, split up with many other features, to vary the pace and take the pressure off poor tired brains.

The surprise star of today was worksheet auditing! This part of Excel allows you to get under the hood of a workbook and track down problems. These are the features we used:

  • Trace Precedents/Dependents to see connections between cells
  • Show Formulas to … you guessed it!
  • Error Checking, to find, identify and fix Excel errors
    (note that this doesn’t find YOUR errors, though, unless they are also errors to Excel!)
  • the Watch Window, where you can keep an eye on key cell values in a floating window while you experiment with another part of the workbook
  • and finally (leaving the best to last) Evaluate Formula, which lets you step through as Excel calculates a complex formula, seeing what happens at each stage. This is a great way of finding out why a formula doesn’t work – or learning how one does!
The Formula Auditing group of the Formulas ribbon

Do you know how to use all these features? Would they help you sort out your Excel woes?

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