Chapter 4

Fixing Formula Boo-Boos

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Preventing errors with Excel

Bullet Following the flow of cell and range references to and from formulas

Bullet Keeping an eye on changes with the Watch Window

Bullet Stepping through a calculation to find the error

Bullet Displaying user-friendly error messages

Excel would be nothing if it didn’t enable you to create formulas. Creating formulas is, after all, the real purpose of a worksheet: to allow you to build a solution that pertains to your specific needs. Without formulas, Excel would be no more than a place to store information. Boring!

Excel allows formulas to have up to 8,192 characters. This means you can create some monster formulas! Formulas can reference cells that have formulas that reference other cells that have formulas that reference … well, you get the idea!

Ah, but this comes at a price. How can you track down errors in long formulas? How can you avoid them in the first place? In this chapter, I explain how Excel steers you away from entering ...

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