Microsoft KB Archive/41047

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Excel: Circular Reference Alert Affects All Open Worksheets

Last reviewed: November 29, 1994
Article ID: Q41047

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 1.5, 2.2, 3.0, 4.0


When an open Microsoft Excel worksheet contains a circular reference, calculations on any open worksheet result in the alert box that warns about circular references. This alert occurs even if the other worksheets are not linked to the worksheet with the circular reference.

This behavior is not likely to pose a problem if you're using automatic calculation, but if you've selected manual calculation, unintentional circular references may not be caught when they are entered.

In Excel versions 2.20 and 3.00, when the worksheet containing the circular reference is active, "Circular:Cell_Ref" (where "Cell_Ref" is the cell containing the circular reference) will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. When other worksheets are active, just "Circular" will appear in the status bar.

In earlier versions of Excel, if many worksheets are open, it may be difficult to determine which of them contains the circular reference; the alert box will continue to appear until the circular reference is found and corrected or until the worksheet containing it is closed.

For assistance in locating circular references, query on the following keywords:

   Excel and circular

For more information on circular references and version 4.0, see pages 173 and 290 in the "Microsoft Excel User's Guide 1," and pages 13-14 in the "Microsoft Excel User's Guide 2." If you are using version 3.0, see pages 283-285 in the "Microsoft Excel User's Guide" version 3.0 manual. If you are using Excel 2.20, see pages 95-96 in the "Microsoft Excel Reference" version 2.2 manual.

KBCategory: kbother


Additional reference words: 1.5 1.50 2.2 2.20 3.0 3.00 4.0 4.00

Last reviewed: November 29, 1994
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