How to show formulas in excel

In this article, we’ll learn how to shows formulas in excel, how to print formulas and deal with Excel not showing the result of the formula.

It might happen that you receive a spreadsheet from someone which has a lot of formulas and you want to just view all the formulas to see how each one is inter-dependent. You don’t want to go to each cell and view formula in the formula bar. That’s a time taking process.

Displaying formulas in excel is a smart way to view formulas in excel and check for what you’re looking for. Let’s see how we can use excel to show formulas in cells.

Show Formulas option on Excel ribbon 

Go to Formulas tab and under Formula Auditing click Show Formulas button. The sheet will start displaying formulas in excel.

Show formulas in Excel

Show Formulas in cells instead of their results option

First go to File > Options. In the dialog box, under Advanced on left pane, scroll down to Display options for this worksheet and then select Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated result.

Show formulas in Excel

This might seem a lengthy method but use this when you want to show formulas in excel within multiple sheets in same worksheet. Just select the Sheet and check the ‘Show formulas in cells….’ Option.

Excel show formula shortcut

Just press CTRL + `

It is the grave accent key (`) which is to the left of number keys (next to number key 1)

You can use the shortcut to show formulas in excel to toggle between displaying cell vales and displaying formulas in excel.

Show formulas in Excel

Note: If you click on a cell containing formula and the formula isn’t visible in the formula bar it means that most likely the formula is hidden. You would need to first unhide formula and remove worksheet protection.

Excel showing formula not results

Has it ever happened that you typed a formula in excel, hit enter but the excel still showed the formula in the cell and not the result. It might happen due to following reasons:

  1. You might have activated Show Formulas. Just press CTRL + ` to get results back.
  2. There might be a space or quote (‘) before equal sign.
    Sometimes we make silly mistakes like putting space before the formula in which can it tells excel to treat the value as text and not formula.
    Show formulas in Excel
  3. Cell formatting might have been set to Text. Again excel would perceive this as text string. Just go to Home tab, and set cell formatting to General and hit Enter.
    Show formulas in Excel

How to print formulas in excel

Just follow any of the above methods to view formulas in excel and then print the worksheet as you normally would do. By going to File and selecting Print.


That was all about how to show formulas in excel.

I hope this article was helpful to you and explained you how to print formulas in excel, how to display the formulas in excel and shortcut to show formulas in excel.

If you have any questions or tips, I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

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