What do red and green triangle indicators mean in Excel?

Contents
  1. Why is there a red triangle in an Excel cell?
  2. Green Triangle
  3. Turn off the green triangle
  4. Change Error Checking Rules
  5. Change the color of the triangle
  6. Red triangle in Excel cell

Why is there a red triangle in an Excel cell?

Red and green triangles are used in Excel to indicate possible errors in cell contents and the presence of user comments in a cell. In addition to color, the triangle appears in different corners of the worksheet cell. A green triangle appears in the top-left corner of the cell and a red triangle in the top-right corner of the cell.

The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel for Office 365.

Green Triangle

A green triangle appears in a cell when the contents of the cell violate any of Excel’s error checking rules.

These rules are enabled by default and catch common errors, such as:

  • Cells with formulas that result in an error, such as #VALUE! or # DIV/0 !.

  • formulas that incompatible or differences from formulas in surrounding cells.

  • The numbers are formatted as text data.

When you select a cell that contains a green triangle, an error options button appears next to it. The bug options button is a yellow diamond with a gray square background that contains options to fix the detected bug.

Turn off the green triangle

Error checking is enabled by default in Excel, so cells that violate the rules show green triangles. This default value is changed in the Excel Options dialog box.

Disable Error Checking:

  1. Go to File and select parameters: to open the Excel Options dialog box.

  2. Select tab formulas

  3. In section error checking uncheck Enable background error checking

  4. Click Okay to accept the change and close the dialog box Excel options

Change Error Checking Rules

Changes to the error checking rules applied in a workbook are made in the Excel Options dialog box.

To change the error checking rules:

  1. Go to File and select parameters:

  2. Select tab formulas

  3. In section Error checking rules check the boxes for the options you want to enable, or uncheck the boxes for the options you want to disable.

  4. Click Okay to apply the changes.

Change the color of the triangle

The default green color of this triangle can be changed in the Excel Options dialog box.

To change the green triangle to a different color:

  1. Go to File and select parameters:

  2. Select tab formulas

  3. Select drop-down arrow Indicate errors with this color and choose another color from the color palette.

  4. Click Okay to accept the change and close the dialog box Excel options

Red triangle in Excel cell

A red triangle in the upper-right corner of a cell indicates that a user comment has been added to the cell. To read a comment, hover over a cell with a red triangle and a comment text box appears next to the cell.

In Excel 2019, a red triangle represents a note. The purple indicator in the corner indicates a multi-threaded comment, which is used to respond to the original comment and add further comments.

Additional options for displaying and displaying comments:

  • Do not display comments or indicators even when you hover over a comment cell.

  • Comments and indicators are always displayed for all cells with comments.

To change comment options:

  1. Go to File and select parameters:

  2. Select tab Additionally

  3. Scroll to section Show

  4. In section For cells with comments select show No comments or indicators Hover Indicators and Notes Only or Notes and Indicators.

  5. Click Okay to accept the change and close the dialog box Excel options

The Excel options for creating, editing, moving or deleting cell comments are in the tab Overview in section Comments ribbons.

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