When you use Excel frequently, you’re likely to see a number of potential errors flagged on the worksheet as you work. Exactly which errors are flagged depends on which error checking rules are enabled. To confirm, navigate to: options > formulas > error checking rules Note that these are global settings. If you disable a rule here, it will stay disabled for all worksheets until reenabled. When Excel flags an error on a worksheet, it will appear as a small triangle in the upper left of a cell. It’s important to understand that this symbol doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem. Instead, this symbol means that there could be a problem. When you click into one of these cells, you’ll see a small caution symbol, which is called a “Smart Tag”. This icon provides a menu of options and information. The first item in the menu tells you what kind of error is being flagged. The second item offers help on the error. The next item opens the formula evaluator, which you can use to evaluate the formula step-by-step. The next option is to ignore this error. If you select this option you are telling Excel to ignore this error in this worksheet only. This preference will be remembered when you save and re-open the worksheet. “Edit in formula bar” simply brings you into edit mode in the formula bar, as if you clicked into the formula bar manually. Use the last menu item to navigate directly to error-checking options. If you’ve told Excel to ignore the error and want Excel to pay attention to it again, use the “reset ignored errors” button. You can ask Excel to check for errors explicitly on the Formulas tab of the Ribbon. This opens an error-checking window that allows you to navigate through the flagged errors. Excel will select the first error it finds and stops. The window displays information about the error, and options for resolving or ignoring the error, similar to what we saw with the Smart Tag. When you click the next button below, Excel will select the next cell it finds with an error and update the error information if the error is different. As before, if you choose to ignore a certain error, Excel won’t stop on that error the next time you check for errors. If you want Excel to flag the error again, use the “Reset ignored errors” button as before.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.