How to use the Error Checking Options button in Excel


This article explains the functionality of the Error Checking Options button in Microsoft Excel.

Error Checking Options

The Error Checking Options button is displayed when the formula in an Excel worksheet cell triggers an error. In addition to the button, the cell itself is marked with a small green triangle in the upper-left corner.

When you click the button, the error type is displayed, followed by the following list of error-checking options:

  • Help on This Error: displays information specific to the error type
  • Show Calculation Steps: demonstrates all steps leading to the error
  • Ignore Error: allows you to accept the formula as entered, without Excel displaying the Error Checking Options smart tag
  • Edit in Formula Bar: allows you to edit the formula that is generating the error in the Formula Bar
  • Error Checking Options: opens the Options dialog box, where you can select the rules governing error checking
  • Show Formula Auditing Toolbar: displays the Formula Auditing toolbar
Note To access most of the preceding options, use one of the following procedures, as appropriate for the version of Excel that you are running:
  • In Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and in earlier versions of Excel, click Error Checking on the Tools menu.
  • In Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and 2010, click the Formulas tab, and then click Error Checking.


For more information about other option buttons in Excel, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

289148 Description of the smart tag functionality in Excel

291357 How to use the AutoCorrect Options buttons in Excel

291359 How to use the Auto Fill Options button in Excel

291358 How to use the Paste Options buttons in Excel 2002

291363 How to use the "Insert Options" button in Excel 2002 or in Excel 2003


Article ID: 291361 - Last Review: Jan 7, 2017 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Excel 2010