There has to be a better way. Any ideas?




While on a rebuilding project with a client, I am ready to delete some modules. Problem is the line items in those modules are used in Formulas and are connected to downstream modules. I know I can reference the specific references in the Blueprint view, and scrolling over to see the Referenced By column.


However, let's say I have 1 line item in particular that I want to delete, but it is referenced in 25+ places. So in order to see all of them I exported the Blueprint view to Excel and split the Referenced By column by comma delimiter. Now I can see the 25+ references individually.


That's quite a LOT of work then to cross-reference/verify back & forth between Excel & Anaplan when deleting those formulas (and in most cases rather changing the formulas to a different properties module). 


I keep telling myself...there has to be a better way. Has anyone found a better approach than what i outlined above? Open to ideas, as this is a recent painpoint I have hit, and would really appreciate alternative ideas. I have normally just gone through the excercise painfully because the scale/scope was not too large, but in this case, this will be quite a bit of work.


  • @DaanishSoomar 

    Unfortunately what you describe is the only way. 

    While this is a pain it is one of the most valuable benefits of the platform. Unlike an excel model you can not destroy the whole thing by deleting a single cell. 

    Thankfully, we have the applies to column to guide us but I think you simply have to work your way through and unpick it all. 

    Also, if you clear the list and you still can not delete it check that it is not being used in any ratio summary method. 

  • Just to clarify, I do like that I cannot delete my line item or module until it's references have been cleared or replaced. I am just looking for a way to do this more efficiently & effectively. 


    I suppose this thread/post was more of me putting out a challenge to our fellow Anaplan Community & Master Anaplanners, to see if there is another outside-the-box way that someone can think through perhaps using alternative programs or transformations in Excel.

  • Appreciate the insight however @ChrisAHeathcote. I do agree this is the only way to do it right now.

    Also tagging @JaredDolich @Misbah @rob_marshall @jasonblinn, hoping we all could perhaps brainstorm other ways to do this same thing? Open to ideas.

  • @DaanishSoomar 

    You could try and export the line items view in module settings into excel and then work through the changes before pasting it back. 


  • @DaanishSoomar 

    Yes, yes, yes! I have the same issue. I can't remember who built it, but there was an Excel VBA or Python app that took all the formulas and built a dependency tree just like the DAG. You could pick any line item and it would trace it forward and backward for you. I'll see if I can find it. 

    Tagging master anaplanner @nathan_rudman - he may, in fact, be the person.

    Actually, if I can't find it, it might be something fun to build ourselves. Want to?

  • Yes please let's talk about this offline in our tagups @JaredDolich! The best solutions often come from experiencing painpoints and a desire to create a solution for a problem for which one does not exist or could be even better 🙂 

  • @DaanishSoomar 


    What solution did you come up with?

  • I do have a code that does something similar (calculates the deep reference), available on
    However it doesnt show you exactly which LIs are actually referencing it.
    Could add it easily if you feel it is a lot of pain
  • CallumW

    Not sure how I have never seen/heard of this before - is this self-built?


    Super impressed!


    It would be good to have an "Official Unofficial Resource" area to make these innovations easier to find in the community! 


  • entirely built by myself yes
  • Will keep you posted, we are touching base this week.

  • More of a general question but how are folks addressing security concerns with clients with regards to 3rd party tools (like or the A+ for Anaplan add-in)? for example looks fantastic but entering my Anaplan login credentials + the ability to download data seems like a hard stop (especially when working with potentially sensitive data in a client workspace)

  • I've made many functionalities to work without the need to enter your login (you can load the list of LIs+lists). Of course for the API ones, no way around it.
  • Hey @nathan_rudman  - Is the website down? I get a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error.

  • Any updates on this @DaanishSoomar ?

  • @rbalakrishnan 



    It is very possible the site is down as Nathan left Anaplan about 10 months ago.



  • Hi @nathan_rudman ,
    I've notice that this site does no longer work for me (but it worked few weeks ago). Is it planned, or do you plan to restore it back to opertional status?
    Thanks in advance.

  • @M.Kierepka 


    Nathan no longer works at Anaplan, so you might need to get an alternative solution or maybe reach out to him via LinkedIn.



  • I'm wondering if there was any resolution for this. I have a request from an end user that would like to have an easy way to see if they change Input X on a dashboard, what measures does it impact downstream? I'm newer to the model and there's a lot of manual tracing needed to identify the answer. For example, 1 input cell has 14 line items that reference it.

  • Unfortunately not any I am aware of. @rob_marshall @Misbah @JaredDolich - any new developments since this thread was started?

  • @DaanishSoomar 


    Not that I am aware of...I simply copy the reference by and put it into a Text editor.



  • @DaanishSoomar 

    Yeah, this can happen if you find your modules are heavily daisy chained. It's a pain.

    You can build an Excel VBA or Python app that basically turns the line items and treats them like they were in a bill of materials. TBH, I think Excel Power Query can do this for you now. So the line item would be the independent variable (assembly) and the line items in the formula would be the components.

    Simply download all the line items from the modules tab so you have it in Excel. Then remove all the functions so you're left with line items. This is necessary since the line items don't have a delimiter.

    The app can use the same logic as the model map but you can select the line item and it will show you the complete dependencies, just like the last part of David Smith's BOM document where he builds the BOM hierarchy. 

    Honestly, I never really had much use for it since I keep my modules cleaned up and fortunately, for the most part, do not daisy chain, so it's easy to find the dependencies.