How to Show Formulas in Excel

In this short article, you will learn how to show formulas in Excel. We will show you some of the easiest ways to do so along with some useful tips and tricks. Follow along.

It is always easy to deal with small Excel spreadsheets, but it can be extremely difficult to work on complex ones with plenty of formulas that are in most cases interconnected. Showing formulas in Excel can help you track all the data used and if necessary help you fix ongoing errors.

To discover how to show formulas in Excel, all you have to do is follow the instructions provided below. This way, you will be able to see all the formulas included in the spreadsheets you have created/downloaded, and also modify them so you can always have them at your disposal for future use.

This tutorial is valid for the most popular versions of Excel (all those with a “Ribbon” tab interface, so to speak), both for Windows and macOS. A the end of the day, it is up to you to find the procedure that suits you the best and put it into good use.

How to Show Formulas in Excel

Usually, when you enter a formula into an Excel cell, it will automatically calculate and display the result instead of the formula you entered. You can always click on the cell and see the formula in the formula bar (fx) and by clicking inside the bar you can modify the formula. But this is not always the best solution.

How to Show Formulas Inside Cells

If you want to see the formula inside the same cell that contains it, you have three alternatives:

  1. Double click on the cell containing the formula.
  2. Click on the cell containing the formula and press the F2 key (Windows) or press fn (function key) + F2 (macOS).
  3. Click on the cell containing the formula and press the CTRL + ‘ (Windows). The grave accent key (`) is located furthest to the left on the numbers key row next to the number 1 key.

How to Show all Formulas in Excel

Head over to the Formulas tab in Microsoft Excel and then tap on the “Show Formulas” button. All formulas instead of their results will be displayed right away. If you want to reverse the process, simply click the “Show Formulas” button again and everything will be back to normal.

There is another way to do the exact same thing by going to the Excel menu. It may seem like a slower way, but if you want to show all formulas in specific worksheets, this is the right way to go.

For Windows

  1. Head over to File and then click on the “Options” button.
  2. On the left pane select “Advanced”.
  3. Scroll down to the Display options, select the desired worksheet, and tick the option “Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results”.

For macOS

  1. Head over to the menu bar, select Excel, and then tap on the “Preferences”.
  1. Tap on the “View” from the Authoring menu and then tick “Formulas”.

How to Print Formulas in Excel

If you want to print Excel spreadsheets with formulas in cells instead of results, simply use any of the previously mentioned methods to show formulas in Excel and then print your worksheet like you normally do (File>Print). 

And this is how you show formulas in Excel. It is a pretty easy and straightforward process, isn’t it? Feel free to check our blog if you are interested in learning more about other useful Excel tutorials, tips & tricks.