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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
    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 30 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:

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 Kutools Plus > Worksheet Design, under the Design tab, click Monitor Precedents and Dependents.

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

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Comments (5)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
The reason that Excel hangs is due to the time. There is an error in the macro. It is showing application.union but what it should be doing is using application.intersect. The reason it's hanging is because it's working to trace dependents on the entire worksheet instead of the specified area.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, jchumley,Yes, as you said, the code works for entire worksheet, if you need the code works for a selected range, please apply the below code:<div data-tag="code">Sub TraceDependents()
'updateby Extendoffice
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)
If xRg Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
For Each xCell In xRg
xCell.ShowDependents
Next
End SubPlease try, hope it can help you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I've found this macro very useful, thank you. I do have one rather large issue - the macro will cause excel to stop responding and I have to close out and restart the program each time I run it. Any fixes/recommendations? Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
When running the macro version, it causes excel to stop responding. I then have to restart excel. Has anyone else encountered this and have a fix? This is a very helpful macro, thank you. Hoping I can resolve this issue.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you very much!
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