As you work in Excel, chances are you’re using formulas to analyze your data. But sometimes, you may accidentally make an error in the formula. This is rather common, especially if you have large datasets or complex formulas. Thanks to Excel, however, you don’t have to identify all of these errors by yourself. Let’s learn how to use Error Checking in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use Error Checking in Microsoft Excel
To learn about Error Checking, let’s use a simple example. Imagine that you have five rows containing three columns of data. You want to sum up each row. Your formulas would be =SUM(A1:C1),=SUM(A2:C2), and so on. But in the final formula, you’ve made a mistake and entered =SUM(B5:C5), omitting one of the values.
Now, you might catch your mistake yourself, but if not, you can easily find it with Excel’s Error Checking feature. Error Checking automatically analyzes formulas and identifies potential errors or inconsistencies.
To turn Error Checking on, begin by going to the Formulas tab on Excel’s ribbon. Over on the right, you’ll see the Error Checking button. Click on it, and Excel will launch the Error Checking menu.
You’ll see the following message appear:
From here, you’ll have the option to update your formula, get help solving the problem, or ignore the error. This is a quick and easy way to catch errors in your spreadsheets.
Error Checking in Excel is usually switched on by default. But if it isn’t, click Options, then Turn On Background Error Checking. Now, Excel will automatically place a green mark in the upper corner of any cell containing an error. By clicking on this mark, you can easily correct errors in your formulas.
As you can see, Error Checking is an effortless, streamlined method to ensure formula accuracy in your Excel spreadsheets. Try it today, and turn it on to automatically analyze future projects.