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Home > English site > Products > RefTreeAnalyser > Why RefTreeAnalyser?
Deze pagina in het Nederlands

Why RefTreeAnalyser?

Easily navigate the reference tree

The formula auditing capabilities of Excel are limited in that they display a bunch of arrows from the current cell to its dependents and/or precedents. Navigating these arrows is relatively hard to do, especially if there are more than just one off-sheet reference and the combination of workbookname and sheetname is long (you're unable to see the cell addresses):

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Moreover, the dialog shows all individual cells, rather than grouping contiguous ranges of cells.

RefTreeAnalyser does a much better job here:

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The RefTreeAnalyser greatly eases the navigation of dependents and precedents. You simply click on a found reference in a simple tree-like structured view and the accompanying cell or range of cells is selected.

If you prefer a more visual way of detecting precedents, try the visualize option:

Visualize option of RefTreeAnalyser

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Find out what your objects are doing

It is hard to see which cells are used by objects in Excel. RefTreeAnalyser helps you with this:

RefTreeAnalyser Object References Screen

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Quickly see what cells are referred to

Although Excel does enable you to see what cells precede your cell and/or what cells use the current cell, getting an overview of them is quite hard. See the example below...

The RefTreeAnalyser greatly simplifies this as well: you get one tree-like overview of all cells that depend on the active cell and all cells that precede the current cell (and both may go up to 5 levels deep down/up the dependency tree!). The screenshot below shows what the same analysis looks like with RefTreeAnalyser:

RefTreeAnalyser also scans your on-sheet objects (such as charts, pivot tables, form controls, ...). If it finds your analysed cell is within their source range it will show that object in the dependents list too, in black font (not shown in the screen shots here). If your cell contains data validation formulas or conditional formatting formulas, those will be analysed for precedents or dependents too.

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Locate all circular references

Excel does detect if a workbook contains circular references, but only enables you to navigate one. The RefTreeAnalyser detects all your circular references and shows them to you in one -easy to navigate- treeview.

Circular references

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Get insight in your workbook structure

RefTreeAnalyser allows you to get a view on which worksheets in your workbook are using data from what other worksheets. Note that the arrows related to the blue colored worksheet are highlighted in color:

Circular references

If you click any of the sheet boxes you get detailed information about the sheet:

Circular references

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Generate a report quickly

Excel's formula auditing tools do not have any reporting options.

The RefTreeAnalyser comes with a Report option which writes the current analysis to a new worksheet in your workbook. The report may look like this:

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Showing last 8 comments of 31 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7-12-2015 11:12:09)

Hi Victor,

This is because you opened the add-in file directly from inside the zip file.

The proper way is:

- Download latest version from my website
- Unpack all files in the downloaded file to any folder on your system
-Now open the xlam file and click Yes to install.


Comment by: victor loisel (14-12-2015 10:24:21)

Thanks it works perfectly.


Comment by: William Howard Benson (22-6-2018 19:11:30)

Jan Karel, does this tool work for Excel tables, which are excluded (very regrettably) from Excel's Formulas Trace Precedents feature?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-6-2018 20:13:10)

Hi Bill,

Yes, it does!


Comment by: Alexandra Rabman (16-4-2019)

Hi there - I have an old version of this tool and LOVE it, but when I updated my Excel to 64-bit on my new laptop I was getting a message that the VBA was incompatible. Does this version work for 64-bit Excel? Or, do you know what the problem could be with my incompatible message?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (17-4-2019)

Hi Alexandra,

Hmm, very strange since I've tested the tool on 64 bit Office 2010 and 2016 and have no errors on my end. Can you please send a screenshot of the error to me using the email address shown below?


Comment by: Alexandra Rabman (17-4-2019)

Hi Jan - thanks so much for writing back. I ended up just purchasing a new license for the current release and now everything is working just fine!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-4-2019)

Hi Alexandra,

Outstanding, thanks.


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