Using Slate.





Troubleshooting &
Bug Reports

Slate requires:

- Windows XP Service pack 3, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

- Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013

  1. Download the .exe file from here. Upon entering your email, you will be sent a product key.

  2. Double click on the .exe file to install Slate. You will be guided through the installation process and may have to install some dependencies.

  3. If you have a previous version of Slate installed, you will need to uninstall it before installing the latest version. You can do this by going to Programs and Features. (Normally accessed through the Control Panel).

  4. Windows Firewall may ask if you want to block some features of Excel. Click "Allow Access". This is needed to allow Slate View to communicate with your open Excel file.

  5. On the first startup of Slate when you open Excel, you will be prompted to enter your product key. If you have forgotten or lost your product key, or need a new one, go here.

  6. If the product key window does not appear, ensure that the addin is enabled when you are in Excel. You can do this by: File -> Options -> Add-ins -> Manage -> COM Add-ins -> Go... -> Ensure the Slate Add-in is ticked -> Click OK

Viewing Precedents

Select the cell that you are interested in.

Go to the Slate ribbon in Excel and click either "Range Precedents" or "Cell Precedents".

Range or Cell Precedents

Slate has two different methods of viewing the precedents of a cell.

As an example, take the following group of cells. They all have the same formula in them (B20=B8-B15, C20=C8-C15 etc.)

Range Precedents. Adjacent cells with similar formula are grouped together in "nodes".

For the above example, if you run "Range Precedents" on cell B20, then the following will display. Note that cells with similar formula have been grouped.

Cell Precedents. The precedents for the selected cell is show. Adjacent cells are not included.

In the case of the above example, the following would show.

In either mode, click on nodes with arrows to expand further levels of precedents.


Clicking on a cell address will take you to that cell in Excel.

Click and drag to navigate around Slate View and use the mousewheel to zoom.

Formula Evaluator

Components of complex formulae can be evaluated to their value within Excel.

Simply hover over an element of a formula and the value of that component will be displayed in a tooltip. If this element is part of a formula, then further information such as a definition of the formula will be displayed.

Solid Lines:

Shows the flow of information between cells through formulas.

Faded Lines:

Indicates nodes with common cells. By grouping together repeated formulas, sometimes part of one group may form an input to another.

These links are shown with faded lines and coloured bordered to identify the shared cells.

Nodes With Arrows:

Indicates that a node can be expanded. Click on them to expand the tree.

Constant Values:

These cells contains a constant (i.e. a number entered manually rather than derived from a formula.)

They are indicated by a vertical streak on the left of the node.

Faded Cells:

Fades at the end of range with ellipses indicate that the range is too large to be fully display.

Note that the address for the entire area is shown.

Thick and thin lines

Thin lines represent a single value from a single cell being passed. Thick lines represent multiple values in a range.

Formula Node

Hover over a nested formula to fade out all inputs to that node except the ones you have highlighted.

Header View

Toggle header view on and off by clicking the button near the navigation controls.

This switches between detailed Slate view and a view simply displaying the headers to the range.


I can't see the add-in. Where is it?

Look for the Slate ribbon at the top of Excel. If it does not appear there, it may have been unloaded. You can ensure the add-in is loaded by going to File -> Options -> Add-ins -> Manage -> COM Add-ins -> Go... -> Ensure the Slate Add-in is ticked -> Click OK

View a 26 second video on how to do this.

Where is my product key?

This will have been emailed to you when you downloaded Slate. If you need a new product key, please go here.

Is my data secure?

Absolutely. All of the data within your spreadsheet is stored locally. No data from your spreadsheet leaves your machine.

Please note that the Slate add-in does connect online to verify product keys, track usage statistic and deliver crash reports.

I want to suggest a feature or report a bug.

Please send a message to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.