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How to trace precedents or dependents for a range of / multiple cells in Excel?

In Excel, we can trace the precedents or dependents of cells with the build-in feature in Excel by clicking cells one by one. But, if there are hundreds of cells that you want to trace the precedents or dependents at the same time, how could you deal with this task quickly and easily in Excel?

Trace precedents for a range of cells with a helper formula

Trace dependents for a range of cells with VBA code

Trace precedents or dependents for a range of cells with Kutools for Excel



To trace precedents for multiple cells, the following steps can help you:

1. Enter equal sign = into a blank cell, and then click top left corner of the worksheet to select the whole sheet, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 1

2. Then press Enter key, and a warning message will pop out, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 2

3. And click OK button to close it, and a 0 is displayed into the cell, select it, then click Formulas and click Trace Precedents twice, all the precedents of the corresponding cells have been traced at once, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 3

4. At last, you can delete the helper formula as you need.


To trace the dependents for multiple cells, the following VBA code can help you, please do as follows:

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: Trace dependents for a range of cells:

Sub TraceDependents()
'updateby Extendoffice 20151218
    Dim xRg As Range
    Dim xCell As Range
    Dim xTxt As String
    On Error Resume Next
    xTxt = ActiveWindow.RangeSelection.Address
    Set xRg = Application.InputBox("Please select the data range:", "Kutools for Excel", xTxt, , , , , 8)
    Set xRg = Application.Union(xRg, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)
    If xRg Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    For Each xCell In xRg
        xCell.ShowDependents
    Next
End Sub

3. Then press F5 key to run this code, and a prompt box will pop out to remind you select the range that you want to use, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 4

4. And then click OK button, all the dependent cells are traced at once, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 5


To be painful with above methods, here, I will introduce a handy tool-Kutools for Excel, with its Monitor Precedents of Ranges and Monitor Dependents of Ranges utilities, you can solve this task quickly and easily.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Select the data range that you want to trace the precedents or dependents.

2. Then click Kutools > More > Monitor Precedents of Ranges / Monitor Dependents of Ranges, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 06

3. Tracing the precedent cells, select Monitor Precedents of Ranges to get the following result:

doc trace dependent 7

Tracing the dependent cells, please select Monitor Dependents of Ranges to get the following result:

doc trace dependent 8

Notes:

1. This feature is dynamic, it will be changed as your selection.

2. You can also apply this feature by clicking Enterprise > Worksheet Design, under the Design tab, click Monitor Precedents and Dependents, see screenshot:

doc trace dependent 09

3. You just need to click the utility again to disable the tracing.

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