Using the Excel Watch Window


The Watch Window in excel is used to track changes to an area of the sheet. 

It can be very useful when you are making changes to a sheet and you want to see how the results in a different part of the sheet, not quickly visible, have changed. 

The Watch Window can bring this result anywhere in the sheet so you don’t have to constantly scroll. 

How To Use

In the following example we have a purchase list: Item and price. 

We have a limited budget so we need to keep an eye on the total before adding more items to the list. 


As we are expecting this list to be quite long, our Totals cell is out of the screen (cell C43). So to see the total every time we add an item we need to scroll down. 

This is very impractical and time consuming, so we will use the Watch Window functionality in excel. 

 First we will go to Formulas in the toolbar and click on Watch Window:

The Watch Window dialogue box will appear, we will click on Add Watch:

In the new Add Watch window, we will select the area that we want to watch. In our example will be cell C43, so we will click on this cell:

Click Add and you will see that the cell will be added to our Watch Window, and you will be able to see the current value as well as the formula in this cell.

You can drag this window anywhere in the sheet. If I move this window next to my list, I can keep on adding items to the list and see how my totals change in this window:


You can use the Watch Window with a larger range as well, you will just need to select the range you want to see in the Add Watch window, and in the Watch Window you will see a list of all the cells in this range and their details, such as formulas and values.

You can also use the Watch Window to keep an eye on a cell in a different tab of the same workbook or even in a tab in a different workbook.

Further Reading 

To read more about this topic, please click here.


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