It's always frustrating to have your work interrupted by error prompts while working in Excel. In this presentation, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, dives deep into the nuances of Excel to explain frequently encountered error prompts, as well as what to do to recover from or mitigate errors that trigger prompts.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in Excel 2016. He draws your attention to any differences in Excel 2013, 2010, or 2007 during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.

Topics covered:

  • Removing memory-consuming add-ins that can compromise Excel.
  • Using range names to streamline formulas and bookmark key inputs within a workbook.
  • Utilizing the Error Checking command to locate cells that contain errors within a worksheet.
  • Learning the nuances of circular references in Excel.
  • Diagnosing formula errors, such as #VALUE!, #REF!, #N/A, and others.
  • Resolving the issue that prevents you from being able to insert rows or columns.
  • Learning the nuances of circular references in Excel.
  • Understanding how to launch Excel in Safe Mode to troubleshoot Excel issues.
  • Updating perpetually licensed versions of Excel by way of service packs.
  • Mastering the IFERROR function to display alternate values in lieu of a # sign error.
  • Understanding how to manage the Protected View prompt in Excel 2010 and later.
  • Identifying the various # sign errors Excel formulas can return.
Learning Objectives
  • Recognize the location of the menu command that allows you to determine categorically if a workbook contains links or not.
  • Recognize the location of the Enable Iterative Calculations setting within the Excel Options dialog box.
  • Identify which section of the Excel Options dialog box that allows you to manage the Protected View setting.
Last updated/reviewed: August 22, 2023
8 Reviews (33 ratings)


Member's Profile
This course was insightful and helpful in resolving problems in Excel. I enjoyed it more than I had expected. David does a great job in explaining the different scenarios and commands in Excel.

Member's Profile
Great review course on Error Prompts. Error handling is an important tool when tracking your formulas, and this course did a great job explaining best practices.

Anonymous Author
Great course. One thing that sets this instructor apart from the others is the supporting materials. Very thorough.

Anonymous Author
This is a very pragmatic Excel course. Much helpful information that is usable on a daily basis.

Member's Profile
Helpful information on those pesky error messages that we tend to live with rather than fix.

Anonymous Author
Explores how to correct Excel error messages and how to avoid them in the first place.

Member's Profile
Great job and thank you for the help on CPE. I learned a lot of excel tips.

Anonymous Author
Great course. Good tips and discussion on the topic.

Course Complexity: Intermediate

Program Prerequisites: None

Advance Preparation: None

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction to Excel Efficiency: Error Prompts Explained7:43
  Unable to Insert Rows/Columns10:11
  To Many Different Cell Formats Error10:00
  Types of Formula Errors7:05
  Manage Error Checking Prompts6:25
  Error Checking Command9:16
  Introduction to IFERROR8:48
  Missing Data Triggers #N/A in VLOOKUP5:29
  Extraneous Spaces Triggers #N/A in VLOOKUP Continued..7:36
  Circular References10:28
  Confirming If a File Has Links9:13
  Protected View Settings7:53
  Installing Microsoft Service Packs4:39
  Excel Efficiency: Error Prompts Explained1:44:44
  Slides: Excel Efficiency: Error Prompts ExplainedPDF
  Glossary/Index: Excel Efficiency: Error Prompts ExplainedPDF
  Workbook: Excel Efficiency: Error Prompts ExplainedXLSX
  Fruit - SalesCSV