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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Captions

Need to add a caption after a document element such as a figure or table? You can add and format one manually, or you can ...

Discover More

Preventing Overlapping Tables

You can spend considerable time getting the tables in your document to look just right. What happens, though, when you ...

Discover More

Displaying a Column Number

Word allows you to format your document to use columns. If you want to number those columns for a printout, Word provides ...

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)

Entering Formulas in Excel

The way you signify that you are entering a formula is to start a cell entry with an equal sign. Here is the reason why ...

Discover More

Deriving Monthly Median Values

When processing huge amounts of data, it can be a challenge to figure out how to derive the aggregate values you need. ...

Discover More

Shortcut for Viewing Formulas

If you need to switch between viewing formulas and viewing the results of those formulas, you'll love the keyboard ...

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}] 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 2?

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.