At times it may be useful to see where the components of a formula have originated from. Or it may be useful to see where a cell is referenced in other parts of the worksheet. In Excel 2010, this is known as tracing precedents (where the components of a formula have originated from) and dependents (to see where else a cell is referenced). These are both auditing tools available in Excel.

**Trace precedents**

- Open the worksheet that you would like to audit and click in the cell that contains the formula you would like to audit.
- On the
**Formulas**tab, click**Trace Precedents**in the**Formula Auditing**group. - The blue arrows show where the formula obtains data from. Now you know that if you change the value in one of these cells, it will affect the cell you audited.

**Trace dependents**

- Open the worksheet that you would like to audit and click in the cell that contains the formula you would like to audit.
- On the
**Formulas**tab, click**Trace Dependents**in the**Formula Auditing**group. - The blue arrows depict where the cell is referenced in other formulas. Now you know that if you change this value, it will affect all the other cells the arrows point to.

**Switching off tracing**

- Open the worksheet that contains the precedent and dependent arrows.
- On the
**Formulas**tab, click**Remove Arrows**in the**Formula Auditing**group. If you click the arrow next to the**Remove Arrows**button, you will be provided with the option to remove all arrows, just the precedent arrows or just the dependent arrows.

That’s it for Tracing Precedents and Dependents. Hope you found it useful – don’t forget to take a look at some of the other tutorials about working in Excel 2010.