Arixcel Explorer is an advanced tool for reviewing formulae in Excel.
It shows the building blocks of any cell formula and allows to navigate easily to its precendent cells and back. It often provides a more convenient way of reviewing formulae links in Excel than the built-in Trace Precedents and Evaluate Formula tools.
Once you start using Arixcel Explorer, it usually becomes indispensable and greatly improves efficiency of work in Excel.
How does it work?
You select a cell that you want to "explore", then press a keyboard shortcut or click on the Arixcel Explorer toolbar icon. This brings up the Arixcel Explorer window which shows the constituent elements of the formula with their values and references.
You can click on any element in the list or use the Up and Down keys to navigate to the relevant cell or range within Excel, even if it is on a different worksheet. Looking through the precedent cells on the spreadsheet usually makes it much easier to understand what the formula is achieving.
Why is it better than the built-in Excel tools?
- You can navigate easily between precedent cells located on different worksheets.
- When you are navigating between cells, the formula remains displayed on the screen and the relevant parts are highlighted. This helps in understanding its logic.
- Functions that return cell references, such as OFFSET, INDEX and INDIRECT are automatically evaluated to their target locations.
- You can view the full structure of nested functions inside a formula and their resulting values. Logical choices by any IF or CHOOSE functions are made clear.
- It is quicker to use Arixcel Explorer than the standard Excel tools. You can bring it up with a keyboard shortcut, use Up and Down keys to navigate between elements and press Esc to close the window. There is no need to use the mouse.
- Arixcel Explorer remembers which cells you explore. So you can easily navigate back to the previously "explored" cells using another keyboard shortcut. You can navigate as far as 100 "explorations" back.
Arixcel Explorer is an add-in to Microsoft Excel. After you install it and run Excel, you will find a new icon added to the 'Add-Ins' tab of the Ribbon (or a new menu under Tools in Excel 2003).
You can start using Arixcel Explorer straight after it is installed. Just select a cell you want to explore and hit the shortcut key (Ctrl + Q by default). Alternatively, click on the Arixcel Explorer icon on Formulas > Formula Auditing group on the Ribbon.