Keep an Eye on Important Changes using Excel's Watch Window
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 1, 2021
Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)
The Watch Window is an awesome tool that you can use in Excel to view changes to cells that are not visible in the current screen. The cells could be on the same worksheet or on a different worksheet in the same workbook. You can use the Watch window to view changes in key cells in real time as you work.
Recommended article: How to Hide Formulas from Clients, Colleagues and Other Users
Do you want to learn more about Excel? Check out our virtual classroom or in-person classroom Excel courses >
You can display the Watch Window through the Formulas tab in the Ribbon.
Adding a watch
To display the Watch Window:
- Click in the cell or range of cells you want to watch for changes.
- Click the Formulas tab in the Ribbon.
- Click Watch Window. The Watch Window dialog box appears with the current cell or range of cells selected. You can also enter cell references. If you have named cells, you can enter the name.
- Click Add.
- You can continue adding watched cells (even in other sheets in your workbook).
For each watch you add, the Watch Window will list the workbook, worksheet, cell name (if you are using names), cell reference , the value in the cell or range and the formula in that cell.
If you added cells from another workbook to your watch list, those cells will only be displayed when that workbook is open.
Viewing changes to watched cells
To view changes to watched cells:
- Ensure the Watch Window is displayed.
- Drag the Watch Window by its title bar to move it and drag the bottom right corner of the dialog box to resize it if necessary.
- Change the width of a column in the Watch Window by dragging the line on the right side of the column heading.
- Make changes to your workbook.
- If the changes you have made affect the watched cells, the values will change in the Watch Window.
Navigating to a watched cell
To jump to a cell that is being watched:
- Display the Watch Window.
- Double-click an entry in the Watch Window.
Deleting a watch
To delete a watch:
- Display the Watch Window.
- Click the entry you want to delete.
- Click Delete Watch.
The Watch Window is a great tool in Excel and you can use it in older versions as well.
Subscribe to get more articles like this one
Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list.
How to Quickly Delete Blank Rows in Excel (5 Ways)
How to Use Flash Fill in Excel (4 Ways with Shortcuts)
3 Excel Strikethrough Shortcuts to Cross Out Text or Values in Cells
How to Replace Blank Cells in Excel with a Value from the Cell Above
10 Excel Flash Fill Examples (Extract, Combine, Clean and Format Data with Flash Fill)
Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced
Microsoft Excel: Data Analysis with Functions, Dashboards and What-If Analysis Tools
Microsoft Excel: Introduction to Power Query to Get and Transform Data
Microsoft Excel: New and Essential Features and Functions in Excel 365
Microsoft Excel: Introduction to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications)
Copyright 2023 Avantix® Learning
Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some in-person classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to arrange custom instructor-led virtual classroom or onsite training on a date that's convenient for you.
You may also like
Excel XLOOKUP Function (Overview, Syntax + Formula Examples)
The XLOOKUP function is a replacement for Excel's traditional VLOOKUP function (as well as HLOOKUP and INDEX / MATCH functions). It has a new set of arguments and is available in Excel 2021 and 365. It allows you to look up a value from an array in a range or table and return one or more results. One of the primary benefits of XLOOKUP is that it can look up from columns to the left in a data set and return a range.
How to Use Go to Special in Excel to Find, Select, Replace and Format Data
You can use Go To Special in Excel to quickly find and select cells of a specific type within your worksheet. It only selects cells in the current worksheet, not the entire workbook. Go To Special also searches within the selected range if a range has been selected. You can find many useful things using the Go To Special dialog box including formulas, constants, blanks, visible cells and conditional formatting. After you select multiple cells with Go To Special, you can enter data in the selected cells by pressing Ctrl + Enter or by applying formatting.
How to Lock Cells in Excel (3 Ways)
It's easy to lock and protect cells in Microsoft Excel to prevent users from changing data or formulas. This involves a two-step process …
Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.
Avantix Learning |18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 | Contact us at email@example.com