An Eye on Your Data

Let’s say you have a very large worksheet in Microsoft Excel and want to view how any changes in one area will affect the totals and other calculations you have in other cells that are off-screen (i.e.: either farther down the page or on another worksheet tab). Instead of repeatedly moving back and forth from your working data area to the cells that show the results you’re interested in, use the Watch Window to display the values of the cells in the other part of the worksheet.

How to set up a Watch Window:

  • Click the left mouse button within one cell that you want to watch.
  • From the Ribbon toolbar, choose Formulas, Watch Window.
  • When the Watch Window dialog box appears, click Add Watch. Since you’ve already selected the cell, you simply need to confirm that the reference to it in the dialog box is correct, and then click Add.
  • Now return to the area of your worksheet that you’re editing. As you do so, you’ll see that the Watch Window floats atop the worksheet, allowing you to work on your data.
  • While you edit, the Watch Window shows the other cells, reflecting the changes you’re making. You can move and re-size the Watch Window as you wish, and use the Add Watch button to view additional cells in the Watch Window–even cells on another sheet–so that you can track the results in multiple cells as you work.

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