How to Evaluate Formulas Step-by-Step in Microsoft Excel

 

Microsoft Excel logo on a green background

When you’re collaborating on a spreadsheet, chances are you’ll need to break down a formulation somebody entered. Whereas many instances this simple, there are others the place the formulation is extra sophisticated. Excel offers a device to judge formulation step-by-step.

For nested or prolonged formulation, you possibly can see how they work one step at a time from the within out. This not solely lets you perceive the formulation and its arguments however also can help you in troubleshooting formulation errors.

Be aware: As of Could 2022, the function is out there on Home windows with Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel 2007.

Use the Consider System Instrument in Excel

Open your Excel sheet and choose the cell containing the formulation you need to consider. Go to the Formulation tab and select “Consider System” within the System Auditing part of the ribbon.

Evaluate Formula on the Formulas tab

You’ll see your formulation positioned within the heart field. Click on “Consider” to start. The device evaluates the formulation from the within out, so that you’ll first discover it explaining the underlined portion.

Let’s stroll by way of our nested formulation instance: =IF(SUM(A1:A5)>20,AVERAGE(A1:A5),"No"). This formulation says, if the sum of cells A1 by way of A5 is larger than 20, common the cells in A1 by way of A5, in any other case, show “No.”

Evaluate underlined portion

While you click on “Consider,” the underlined a part of the formulation reveals the end result. In our formulation, it sums the cells A1 by way of A5 and sees if the result’s higher than 20.

Evaluate next underlined portion

Then once you click on “Consider” once more, the following underlined portion is evaluated and reveals the end result. For us, the result’s False as a result of the sum just isn’t higher than 20.

Underlined portion evaluated and result is False

While you attain the tip, you’ll see the ultimate end result that shows in your cell. For our formulation that is “No” as a result of the IF operate’s formulation shows the if-not-then end result.

Final evaluation result is the formula result

You possibly can then choose “Restart” to see the step-by-step analysis once more or “Shut” to exit the device.

Let’s have a look at one other instance the place you should use the Step In and Step Out options of the device. For this we’ll use a primary IF operate formulation reasonably than a nested formulation: =IF(A1=5,"Sure","No"). This says, if the worth in cell A1 equals 5, show “Sure,” in any other case, show “No.”

Right here we see our formulation with the underlined portion and the Step In button out there.

Evaluate with Step In available

Click on that button to show the fixed for the formulation. It’ll seem in its personal field. You possibly can see right here it’s 1 as a result of that’s the worth in cell A1.

Step In value displays

You possibly can then click on “Step Out” to shut that field and proceed with “Consider” to work by way of the formulation. The following step evaluates if 1 is the same as 5, per our formulation.

Evaluate equal to result

Click on “Consider” to see that the result’s False, 1 just isn’t equal to five.

Equal to result is false

Subsequently, the formulation’s result’s “No.”

Final evaluation result is the formula result

While you see a formulation that you just’re attempting to grasp, the Consider System function in Excel might help. For extra, have a look at these primary Excel capabilities.

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