How to follow an Excel link to another sheet/ spreadsheet

As you work through spreadsheets you will create links to other sheets and spreadsheets. But once it has been created you will need to know how to follow an excel link to another sheet/ spreadsheet. Otherwise you will need to remember each link and hope your memory lasts until you find it.

YouTube Follow formula to their source cells (anywhere)

Follow an excel link to its source

Instead of trying to remember them, you can use the Trace Precedent button in the Auditing Toolbar.

You can find the Formula Auditing tools in the formula tab

How to follow an excel link

The main button we focus on here is the Trace Precedents button.

You can see how it works (with video clips) on the free Fundamentals Course, but a major benefit of the Trace Precedent button is that it can show AND take you to cells that are linked to different sheets or workbooks. Note that if you click on cell I4 and look at the formula you will see it looks at another sheet.

As shown below if you click on the Trace Precedent button you get a dashed line with a spreadsheet at the end which indicates that this links to a cell outside of this sheet.


You can double click on this dashed line. In this case a new box will appear with a listing of all the cells that are outside this sheet (in the example below there is only one cell). You can click on the item you want to follow and click OK. You will be taken straight to the linked cell.


To get back to where you were, just click the F5 button on your keyboard and push OK (don’t click anything else).

Want to learn more about Microsoft Excel? If you prefer attending a course and live in South Africa look at the Johannesburg MS Excel 3 Day Advanced Course  or the Cape Town MS Excel 3 Day Advanced training course. If you prefer online learning or live outside South Africa, look at our online MS Excel training courses.

Double click Excel cell to follow formula not working

Working with Trace Precedents from the Excel spreadsheet auditing toolbar

Getting back to the original cell when using the Formula Auditing Toolbar