How to Show Formulas in Excel

July 23, 2018

This post will explain how to show formulas in Excel. Normally when you enter formulas the worksheet will show the results rather than the formulas itself. In a large worksheet which contains many formulas, pointing to specific cells to see the formulas in the formula bar can be time consuming and awkward. The easiest way to view formulas is by showing all the formulas on your spreadsheet. I will show you some ways to do this.

 

Using the Shortcut Keys

 

The easiest and quickest way to show formulas is by using the shortcut key.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a list of formulas in the cell range A2:A8. You can view the formulas in each cell by clicking in the cell and viewing the formula in the formula bar. In this example I have selected cell A2 and the formula is showing =5+5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shortcut key for viewing all the formulas in the worksheet is by pressing Ctrl + ` (grave key). The grave key is normally located on the top left of the keyboard next to the number 1. To use the shortcut key press the Ctrl key on the keyboard and while the Ctrl key is still held down press the ` (grave) key and then release the Ctrl key. This shortcut key acts as a toggle so if you want to view the results again then press the shortcut key Ctrl+` again.

 

 

Using the Ribbon to Show Formulas

 

You can also view the formulas by using the ribbon.

 

Click on the Formulas tab in the ribbon and under the Formula Auditing group click on the Show Formulas command button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

The formulas are now showing. To revert back to viewing the results just click on the Show Formulas button again.

 

 

Using the Backstage View to Show Formulas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the File tab in the ribbon

 

 

When you are in the backstage view click on Options

 

On the left hand pane select Advanced. Scroll down until you see Display options for this worksheet  then tick the Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated field results check box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The formulas are now showing. To revert back to the results then follow the same process again but untick the checkbox Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated field results.

 

Whichever method you use whenever you show formulas it just changes the way the worksheet is displayed. It does not change the contents. It is helpful when there are errors in the worksheet and you want to quickly locate where the error may be.

 

 

To View Individual Formulas in a Cell

 

You may just need to view a formula in an individual cell because the formula is wrong and you want to edit it.

 

There are two ways to do this:

 

1) Double clicking in the cell to go in edit mode

2) Clicking in the cell and pressing F2 to get in edit mode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do either of these then the formula will display in the cell content and you are also able to edit it. To go out of edit mode then just press the Enter key.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or want any help then please leave me a comment below. I would be happy to help.

 

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