Watch Window in Excel – any version

Let’s be honest…Did you ever heard about “Watch Window” in Excel?

If no, then you must be aware of this simple, elegant and one of the most under used tool in Excel.

Let’s imagine you are working on a project. You have multiple excels opened and within those excel files you are working on multiple sheets at the same time. You have to move around those sheets and excel files frequently to see the results. You are using “Alt + Tab” keys or any other shortcut keys to move between these windows. You feel frustrated with these moving around and want a simple solution which you easily show you the result.

And now suddenly your boss / colleague comes to your desk and you start discussing some things with him. After your discussion you may feel lost where exactly you were working. Then you would spend 10 minutes more to figure out what and where exactly you were working.

I am pretty confident that you can relate to this situation because I had faced the same problem until I discovered a solution:


This tool is located under “Formulas” tab in Excel next to formula auditing tools. It looks like this:

To activate it, just click on this tool and you would see a new window

You can manually drag this window to the location on your screen where you can get good view of sheet as well. Also, you can dock it permanently to any of the side of screen so that you do not have to move it around frequently.

Now select any cell that you want to track and click on “Add Watch”. That cell will then appear in lists below. You can add as many cells you want from OPEN Excel Files. As long as Excel file is open then any cell added to watch will appear in this list even if you move to other open excel files.

Now if you are changing any cell on which added cell is dependent then updated value watched cell will appear in Watch Window under ” Value” field.

Further, once you are done with the tracking any cell you can select that from list in Watch Window and click “Delete Watch”.

So go and try this simple and most useful tool. I bet you have you would find it more convenient than changing windows.


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