The Cell Inspector function

Cell InspectorVersion 5.0 is the first full version of Rainbow to include the Cell Inspector, an interactive function which displays the precedents and dependents of the currently selected cell, and also provides a best-guess description of the meaning of each cell. It will take you to each precedent or dependent (double-click on the relevant line) so that you can explore the logic and check out the meaning of each cell. Then click the back-arrow button to return to where you were before. The Cell Inspector title bar shows how many steps you are from the original cell (#1) where you started.

Cell Inspector uses a complex probabilistic scoring system to generate the cell descriptions; the screenshot on the left is a good example of how this works. Although of course the descriptions cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate in every single case, they have been proved to be highly reliable across a range of financial models, and they can provide a very fast indication of possible faulty logic.

As an example, suppose you run Cell Inspector on cell H74 in sheet Operations, and Cell Inspector shows this as Availability Fee – 30/09/2013, with the formula “=Inputs!H101*(1-$C$26)”. If you then look at Cell Inspector’s list of Precedents and see that Inputs!H101 is Availability Charge – 30/09/2012, you can immediately spot that there may be a problem with misaligned columns in different sheets referring to different time periods.

If you come across a complex formula, perhaps with several nested IF() statements, you can click on the Parse Formula button to see a structured layout of the formula which will quickly identify which are the relevant components of each IF() statement. And at any time you can click the Minimise button so that you can see the parts of the worksheet which may be hidden by the Cell Inspector dialogue box.

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