Viewing Formulas versus Results

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 8, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Formulas are at the heart of Excel. In fact, most workbooks contain dozens (if not hundreds) of formulas. Normally, Excel displays the results of your formulas on a worksheet. If a cell contains a formula, you can view the formula by selecting the cell and looking at the Formula Bar. You can also instruct Excel to display the formulas for all cells instead of the results of those formulas. This is done by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Formulas check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

If you prefer, you can use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+` to toggle between the formulas and their results. (The ` key is the one just above the Tab key and to the left of the 1 key.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2641) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Calculating Combinations

The COMBIN function is used to determine the number of combinations that can be made from a group of elements. This tip ...

Discover More

Keeping the Styles Pane Open by Default

Word doesn't provide a way that you can display the Styles task pane by default. If you get tired of manually displaying ...

Discover More

Toggling AutoFilter

Want a tool that will help you toggle AutoFilter on and off? Excel provides some tools you can use, but you need to be ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Summing Digits in a Value

Want to add up all the digits in a given value? It's a bit trickier than it may at first seem.

Discover More

Starting Out Formulas

When you enter a formula from the keyboard, Excel only knows it is a formula if you start it with an equal sign. You can ...

Discover More

Figuring Out the Low-Score Winner

Need to figure out the lowest score in a range of scores? Here's the formulas to get the information you need.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.