Viewing Formulas versus Results

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 8, 2016)

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. ...


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