Excel: Calculate a Formula in Slow Motion

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Problem: I am trying to trace how a formula is calculating. What should I do?

Strategy: Use the Evaluate Formula command on the Formulas ribbon tab. You select the cell that contains the formula you want to examine. Then you select Formulas, Evaluate Formula.

The Evaluate Formula dialog shows the formula. The first item to be calculated is underlined. Click Evaluate to calculate the underlined portion of the formula.

  1. The underlined term will be evaluated next.

    With each click of Evaluate, Excel will calculate the underlined portion and show the results in italics. It will underline the next step in the calculation.

    Additional Details: Any time the next term to be calculated is a cell reference, you can click the Step In button to evaluate the formula in that cell. You click Step Out to close the most recent detail level and go back one level.