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Weekly Computer Tip # 89
20 November 2004

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viewing or changing the cells of a formula using the Range Finder (Microsoft Excel)

With the pre-Christmas craziness around the corner, now is a good time to keep you ahead of the game with another great Excel tip ...

Excel provides the so-called Range Finder feature to see which cells are used in a formula. For example, if you work with somebody else's worksheet or cannot remember what formula you entered in a cell, you can use the Range Finder feature to display coloured borders around each cell used in the formula. You can even change the formula using the Range Finder.

Here's how:

  1. Double-click the cell that contains the formula you want to view or change. The formula range references and the range border appear in the same colour.
  2. To change a cell or range reference to a different cell or range, drag the colour-coded border of the cell or range to the new cell or range. To include more or fewer cells in a reference, use the drag handle in the lower-right corner of the border to select more or fewer cells.
  3. When you finish updating the references, press ENTER.

Apart from locating and changing the data used in a formula, Excel's Range Finder feature can also be used to display data represented in a chart. Here's how:

  1. Select the chart, to display the coloured (Range Finder) borders around the worksheet data.
  2. Use the drag handle in the lower-right corner of the border to select more or fewer cells to be represented in your chart.

It's easier done than said (honest!) so why not give it a go.

Finally, if you (or your 4 year old ;-) are keen to find out how many days it is until Christmas you might want to have another look at last year's "Countdown to Christmas" tip (http://www.roem.co.uk/tip_39.html). I've updated the underlying countdown spreadsheet and it tells me it's only 35 days. But who's counting?

Until next week.

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November 2004