Show and evaluate formulas

Quickly show and evaluate formulas, find inconsistent formulas and troubleshoot them quickly.

Quick Tip

Show formulas quickly with the keyboard

Trouble with functions? Not sure which cells are formulas? Need help remembering which arguments each function needs? Then this tip is for you!

To quickly show formulas, just use this keyboard shortcut:

Keyboard shortcut to show formulas in Excel

Use this keyboard shortcut to quickly toggle between showing formulas and normal cell contents:

ActionKeyboard shortcut
Toggle between showing formulas and normal cell contentsCtrl + `
The ` key is to the left of the 1 on the main keyboard, sometimes called the tilde (~) key.
Keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel

Displaying formulas can give you a quick way to see how a worksheet’s formulas are set up, including:

  • See which cells use formulas or which are input directly;
  • Find formulas that are inconsistent with other formulas in the surrounding cells;
  • Quickly spot “hard-coded” direct inputs or overrides hiding amongst formulas.

When displaying formulas, column widths are shown at double their normal width. This is to give you more chance of seeing the whole formula. Depending on the length of your formulas, you may need to widen them further.

Seen the Bonus tip for how to evaluate formulas while you build them, and check out how to assemble function arguments with the Expert tip.

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Expert Tip

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