Excel 2013 Tutorial for Beginners on How to Fix circular reference problems in Excel.
A circular reference error arises when a formula either refers to the cell it is inserted in or refers to another cell that refers to its own cell. For example, if we were to enter =A1+B1+C1 into cell C1 we would get a circular reference warning. This is because we entered a formula into cell C1 that refers to cell C1 as an argument. The problem with formulas that contain circular references is that every time the formula is calculated, it must be calculated again. This could go on infinitely.
When you enter a formula with a circular reference a warning box will appear as shown below.
Circular Reference Excel Formulas 2013
When this box appears you can click OK and Excel will just display a 0 as the result of your formula, or you can click Help and Excel will display a help screen providing more information about circular references.
Circular Reference Help Excel 2013
There are times when circular references are necessary. For example, suppose you owned a company and your employees' salaries were a percentage of net profit. Since net profit is calculated as Revenues -- Expenses and salaries are an expense, we would run into a circular reference problem. We must know what net profits are before we can calculate salaries and we must know salaries before we can calculate net profits. In this case we can use circular references to our advantage. Examine the data and formulas in the Excel screenshot provided below. I am using the show formulas feature so you can see what exactly is entered into the cells. As you can see we have a circular reference problem because Net Profits in cell B4 is =B1-B2-B3 but cell B3 contains a formula that refers to cell B4.
Excel 2013 Formulas circular reference iterations
The formulas entered into this worksheet are resolvable formulas and if the formula is repeated enough times a desired result can be reached for both cell B3 and cell B4. To solve this circular reference problem we simply need to enable iterative calculations. To enable iterative calculations follow the steps below:
Step 1: Select File and then click on Options. The Excel options dialog box will appear.
Step 2: In the Excel options dialog box click the Formulas tab.
Step 3: In the Calculation Options group check the box where it says Enable iterative calculation. Now Excel will run the maximum allowed iterations until it reaches a result where Salaries are exactly 10% of Net Profit. Look at the screenshot below to see the final result.
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Thank you for sharing tutorial on this topic.
I have a problem with its consistency. I have such circular reference formula. It indeed works well upon my setting on iteration of 1. But when the worksheet is saved, then reopened, it gives warning of circular reference. I find it disturbing as one may get it wrong when receiving the file. Also, it seems to be inconsistent as I have to re-apply/activate for its iteration on the Option menu to make it work upon re-opening for new entry. Do you or anyone have solution for this issue?
Thanks a lot in advance!
If for example I have a value in cell A1, lets say 2
What I want to do is multiply that cell by 0.75 but in the same cell
I don't want to have to put a formula in B1 such as =(A1*0.75), because I already have a value in B1 and I don't want to have to insert a new column.
if I highlight cell A1 and put the formula =(A1*1.333) into it the value becomes 0.00
Can what I'm asking be done? or would I need to create a macro?
Any help would be appreciated.
In case people want a non-iterative solution you can substitute salary for profit like this.
Profit = Rev - Expenses - 0.1Profit
1.1Profit = Rev - Expenses
Profit = (Rev - Expences) / 1.1 .
For this example B4 would be =(B1 + B2) / 1.1 and B3 remains the same without circular issues.
Saves you having settings issues and no need to worry about accuracy.
I have a question. I have two workbooks.
Workbook 1: iterative calculation (enabled)
Workbook 2: iterative calculation (disabled)
Each time i open Workbook 2 first then later i open Workbook 1 next, the setting for workbook 1 will change and becomes disabled. So i get the error message all the time and my formulas wont work.
But if i keep Workbook 2 open first and open other workbooks next, there's no problem at all.
Please help me on this because there is not point of changing the settings all the time whenever i am i a situation like this.
Hey i have a problem..If i change the value in ANY cell it runs the calculations again..changing the value ..for example i have a formula in cell A1 that is =A1+A2...if i change the value in A3 or B1 (any other cell)..it runs the formula again of A1+A2 changing the value of A1 ...how can i fix that?
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