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Microsoft Excel - Use the Watch Window to Monitor Cell Values

By Deborah J. Sparks

Would you like to monitor cell values as they change, without having to scroll or switch back and forth between worksheets or workbooks? You may find the Watch Window useful.

Open the Watch Window by clicking its button on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group (in Excel 2003, right-click a cell and select Add Watch).

Add Cells to the Watch Window:

  • Click Add Watch in the Watch Window, select the cell(s) (drag or use Ctrl to select more than one cell), and click Add in the resulting window.
  • NOTE: Cell addresses from multiple workbooks can be added to the Watch Window. When the workbooks referenced are open, their Watches will be displayed; when closed they will disappear.

Delete Cells from the Watch Window:

  • Select the cell(s) (use Ctrl or Shift to select more than one cell) in the Watch Window and click the Delete Watch button.

Resize Columns to View Only What You Need:

  • Columns can't be removed, but their width can be resized so they don't show.


  • Name your ranges to make them more clear. SalesTotal is easier to understand than $D$302.
  • The Watch Window will "jump" out of the way if you navigate to cells under it. Move the Watch Window around by dragging the title bar - you can also dock it at the top or bottom of your screen; test out which position works best for you.

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© 2012 DJH Training & Application Solutions Inc.

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