A popular feature in Excel is the ability to double click an Excel cell and it will take you to the links in the formula (if on the same sheet) or the first link if on another sheet i.e. where did the cell get its information from. However, what if the double click an Excel cell to follow formula is not working?
If you check Excel formula regularly it might be useful to view our free Finding the errors in Excel Spreadsheets.
What is meant by double click to follow formula
As shown below with this setting switched on, if I double click in cell G15, it highlights the cells in G6 and G11 as the formula is G11 x G6. It will also jump to other sheets if the formula links to another sheet.
Depending on your settings, double clicking a cell to follow the formula might not work, but instead allow you to edit the cell. Depending on what you prefer below how to switched it on or off.
Double click cell to follow formula or edit cell
Time needed: 1 minute.
The default setting when you double click a cell is it allows you to edit the cell without going to the formula bar. To change this so that you can double click and you will be taken to the first link in the formula, you just need to change a setting.
- Open Excel Options
Click on the File in the Excel Ribbon and then click on Options at the bottom
- Choose Advanced and untick an option
Click on the Advanced item and make sure that the option ‘Allow Editing directly in cells’ is unticked as shown below and click OK
- Test that double click on cell follows the formula to the preceding cell
Take a spreadsheet with a formula in a cell and double click on it to see it follow through
Another way to follow where a cell comes from or goes to
Our preference when following cells is to rather use the Formula Auditing tools. These allow you a bit more control in that you can follow where cells come from, where they go to, and which other sheet link you want to follow. As shown below, using this tool on cell G11 produces a blue line showing where the cells come from. This uses the Trace Precedent tool available in Formula Auditing (see more)