Useful Microsoft Excel Commands Correcting Spreadsheet Errors the Easy Way

Microsoft Excel is a power-packed spreadsheet application used widely for business and personal applications. There are so many features that the casual user may not be aware of some simple commands that will improve the look of spreadsheets and aid in their design.

Using Goal Seek

Goal Seek is a powerful tool if a user knows the answer of a calculation that they are trying to find. It replaces trial and error in finding the right answer. For example, Goal Seek works well if the user knows they could only afford a $500-per-month payment. Goal Seek would be the perfect tool to find the exact loan amount or interest rate that would result in a $500 payment.

To use goal seek, click on tools, then goal seek and fill the information in the three cells. First, enter the cell location, or place the cursor on the cell, where the desired number needs to go. Step two, in the box ”to value” enter the amount that you are trying to find. Finally, place the cursor in the cell that needs to change in order to calculate the correct answer. One always need Accounting IT Support to manage records while fixing spreadsheet errors is also a necessary part of this job.

Using Formula Auditing

One of the most frustrating things for Excel users to try to understand is how to correct errors, especially when using spreadsheets created by others. Formula Auditing allows the user to review a calculation to determine which cells feed into the answer.

Formula auditing answers the questions, “Where did this number come from?” and “Where does this number go?” using easy-to-follow arrows.

For example, a large spreadsheet with many rows and subtotals may not foot properly. By using Formula Auditing – Trace Precedents, the user can work backward from the answer to discover which cells are included and by exception discover which are missing.

Trace Dependents is a similar function. When used on a cell, it shows if that cell is used in a calculation elsewhere in the spreadsheet. Dependents and Precedents cannot be traced to another worksheet or file.

Using Spelling

Many users do not know that Excel has a spell check command. Excel’s Spelling command can eliminate some misspelled words. The file should always be reviewed for words that are spelled correctly but are not what the user intends. Unlike Microsoft Word, the spell check cannot be turned always on, and does not have a grammar check.

Why Use Advanced Excel Commands?

When presenting spreadsheets to others in business or personal situations, it is important to prepare accurate and professional documents. Errors and misspelling reflect poorly on the presenter. Excel commands can help find and correct errors faster and better than simple trial and error.