# About the Formula Tracing Window

**Office 2010**

The Formula Tracing window is designed to provide shape developers with information about cell interdependencies—both dependent cells (cells that have a dependency on a given cell), and precedent cells (cells that a given cell depends on).

The cells in a Microsoft Visio ShapeSheet contain values and formulas. Formulas can, in turn, have references to other cells, giving you the power to calculate a value in one cell based on another cell's value. When creating or maintaining complex shapes, however, it can be difficult to identify all these interdependencies because a formula can reference any cell in the drawing, whether it's a cell in the same ShapeSheet, or a cell belonging to another object in the drawing, for example, a page, style, master, or another shape.

The Formula Tracing window provides information to help you understand the implications of changes you make to cells.

To view the Formula Tracing window, with the ShapeSheet window active, on the ShapeSheet Tools Design tab, in the Formula Tracing group, click Show Window. The Formula Tracing window appears docked in the ShapeSheet window by default, but is an anchored window that can be docked, floated or merged with other available anchored ShapeSheet windows, for example, the Style Explorer window.

Tracing dependent cells

To see a list of cells that are dependent on a particular cell, select that cell in the ShapeSheet window. In this example, the Width cell is selected.

To view its dependent cells, in the Formula Tracinggroup, click Trace Dependents.

A list of all the cells with a dependency on the Width cell appears in the Formula Tracing window. You can navigate to any cell in the list by double-clicking its entry in the Formula Tracing window.

Tracing precedent cells

To see a list of cells that a particular cell is dependent upon, first select the cell in the ShapeSheet window. In this example, the Geometry1.X2 cell is selected.

To view its precedent cells, in the Formula Tracinggroup, click Trace Precedents.

A list of all the cells that the Geometry1.X2 cell is dependent upon appears in the Formula Tracing window. You can navigate to any cell in the list by double-clicking its entry in the Formula Tracing window.