Excel Hack

Trace formula Excel shortcut

Here is an access key to trace formulas in Excel. You can easily check which cell a formula refers to and which formula refers to the target cell. Use this access key when you have created a complex formula, or when you want to check if a formula references the wrong cell.

Shortcut key to trace a formula

Trace the precedents

Windows
Access Key: Alt + M + P

Mac
None

Trace the dependents

Windows
Access Key: Alt + M + D

Mac
None

Trace the reference cell of a formula

Use the shortcut keys to trace which cell the formula refers to.

Total Time: 1 minute

Select a cell

Select a cell

Select the cell that contains the formula you want to check the reference cell for.

Can trace the reference cell of a formula

Tracing precedent

Press Alt + M + P, a blue arrow will be drawn from the referenced cell to the cell containing the formula.

Finish tracing

Select a cell

Press Alt + M + A + A to make the blue arrow disappear.

Tracing formulas that reference a cell

Select a cell

Select the cell you want to check if it has a referenced formula.

Trace the dependent

Press Alt + M + D, a blue arrow will be drawn from the cell to the cell where the formula you are referring to was entered.

Select a cell

Press Alt + M + A + A to make the blue arrow disappear.

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