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EXCEL

Circular References

Circular references occur when a formula refers to a cell whose value is dependent on the formula that is being created, an example is shown below.

If the formulas in cells A3 and B2 have already been entered, an attempt to create the formula in C3 will lead to an error message appearing like this:

To see the formulas involved in the circular reference, click on the View drop-down menu and select Toolbars and then Circular Reference. The Circular Reference toolbar will appear as shown below and blue arrows will mark the formulas involved in the circular reference, you can then correct the formula to break the circle.

Note:  in this example we have displayed the formulas so we can see where the problem causing the circular reference lies.  If you do not have your formulas displayed you will just see the results of your calculations like the example below:

The auditing toolbar can also help you find where problems lie if you do not get the expected results from your calculations.

 

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