Excel Trace Dependents follow trace using keyboard

I prefer to use the keyboard in Excel and avoid using the mouse.

The current keystrokes to trace dependents is alt-m-d. However, that only shows the arrows.

What does one do if one wants to follow one of those arrows without using the mouse?

Why don’t you want to use the mouse?

I always do ctrl-]. That jumps you to the dependent if there is just one, or jumps to one and highlights all dependents if there are multiple. I don’t know of a way to select which it jumps to, though, in the case of multiples.

I use ctrl-] as well. As long as the dependents are on the same tab, it should high light all cells. You can then tab through them. The use of ctrl-] doesn’t seem to handle different tabs though.

I wonder if pressing CTRL+] additional times would cycle through the dependents on other worksheets . . .

Can’t answer for the OP, but I work faster using the original shortcut keys. (And “transition navigation keys” (Lotus 123-style).) 'cause that’s how I learned.

Now, I have not ever created my own shortcut, since I enable the shortcuts in Excel, without regard to what he latest Excel version shows on the tool bar. I loved having a one-touch print icon (no preview or setup page), but I have no idea where that icon is anymore, if it exists at all. So, I’d like to create a shortcut for “Print-no-preview.”

No, it goes to the dependent of the cell that it went to after the first ctrl-].
Edit: And apparently only searches the current worksheet at all, unlike alt-m-d.

Serious answer: Because it’s much faster to keep my hands on the keyboard.

Not-so-serious answer: Because the mouse is of the devil!

Okay…thanks for that, and to all for the discussion. It doesn’t look like Excel will do what I really want which is to bring up a list of all of the dependents (no matter which sheet they’re on) and let me select which one to go to…but I’ll have to try to memorize ctrl-]…and ctrl-[ for precedents. That might be helpful. :cowboy_hat_face:

I can’t remember where I got this code (it was from AO poster ADoubleDot)…[strike]perhaps from a kind poster on the AO or perhaps from ExcelTips or perhaps just from googling it[/strike]…regardless, given a selection of cells (you must have more than one selected), this code will cycle through each and highlight those with a precedent or dependent (depending on which on you run):

'code courtesy of AO poster ADoubleDot
Sub aaa_Trace_Dependents()
 Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual
 Dim c As Range
 For Each c In Selection
End Sub

Sub aaa_Trace_Precedents()
 Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual
 Dim c As Range
 For Each c In Selection
End Sub

That still leaves me with the “having to use the mouse to click on the arrows” problem.

You’re looking for “Quick Print (CPR126)”…Just like Prego - it’s in there.


When I first started interviewing, one of the interviews didn’t use his mouse and was navigating Excel like a god. I thought that was the pinnacle of being a successful actuary/anything. Note, at the time I barely knew how Excel worked, let alone being so proficient.

Fast forward a decade. I’m pretty good at Excel, but I have absolutely no desire to abandon the mouse. It’s like trying to play the piano blindfolded. It might be impressive, but whyyyyyyyy I have better things to do.

I’m not trying to convince you to come to the dark side, but I feel the same way about those who use the mouse – “I have better things to do” – it’s so slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

You don’t use “CTRL-C” for copying and “CTRL-V” for pasting?
Or “Alt-e, s, t” for pasting the format only?
Or “Alt-e, s, f” for pasting the formula only?
Or “Alt-e, s, v” for pasting the values only?
They’re all left-hand convenient. Allows me to keep my right hand on the mouse/number pad (my cursor) for other duties.

ctrl c and ctrl v yes, ctrl z, ctrl y, yes

I’ve seen people use the alt e s “whatever” but my hand doesn’t contort like that… do you hold the alt key like you do for alt+numpad symbols (and ctrl+c,v,z,y), or is it alt lift, e lift, s list, whatever?

Yeah I do those. I’m talking about abandoning the mouse altogether in Excel, like maybe using it 10% of the time.

I can’t

This. I’ve had the dependents one in my Personal macro workbook for a while under ADoubleDotIsTehAwesomeest. Thanks ADD!

Trying to form standardized writing translation for this.
With CRTL, you hold CRTL and whatever other key, so I write this as “CTRL-C” with a dash. Or, a “+” might be better.
With ALT, you don’t have to hold it with any other key (just checked!), although holding it with the first key is accepted. So, I (now) write that as, “ALT, e, s, t” with commas.
Try it! You’ll like it!

Yes, that was the poster. Thanks ADD!

Actually, no. I use ctrl+insert for copy, shift+insert for paste, and, when necessary, shift+delete for cut.

Otherwise, alt-e-s-[t, v] gets used a lot.

A co-worker with fewer fingers due to a hand injury prefers keyboard shortcuts, other people might have other reasons.