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How to Fix the Formula Bar Disappeared in Excel

January 15, 2024 5.8K views

Have you ever found yourself staring at your Excel spreadsheet, wondering where the formula bar vanished to? It's a common hiccup that can occur when the formula bar gets accidentally hidden. But fret not, we're here to guide you through the process of bringing it back. Sometimes, even the simplest solutions can be elusive when you don't know where to look. If you've lost sight of your formula bar, we've got you covered with straightforward steps to restore it.

Part 1: Why Did the Formula Bar Disappear in Excel?

formula bar in Microsoft Excel

The formula bar in Microsoft Excel serves as a fundamental element of the user interface, positioned just above the expansive spreadsheet grid. Its presence is integral to the seamless functionality of Excel, providing users with a convenient platform to input, edit, and review formulas that drive calculations, data analysis, and manipulation. As a versatile tool, the formula bar grants users direct access to cell contents, facilitating both formula creation and data interpretation.

Part 2: How to Fix the Disappeared Formula Bar in Excel - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Losing sight of the formula bar in Excel can be perplexing, but fear not! We have curated a step-by-step tutorial with images to guide you through the process of recovering your essential formula bar. Let's embark on the journey of rediscovery:

Toggle Formula Bar Visibility

  1. Open your Excel workbook.

  2. Navigate to the "View" tab on the top menu bar.

  3. Look for the "Show" group within the "View" tab.

  4. Ensure that the "Formula Bar" option is checked. If it's unchecked, click on it to toggle the formula bar visibility back on.

Enable formula bar in Microsoft Excel

Check Excel Window Size

  1. Sometimes, a resized Excel window can inadvertently hide the formula bar.

  2. Hover your cursor over the edges of the Excel window until you see the double-headed arrow cursor.

  3. Click and drag the window edges to resize the window and potentially reveal the formula bar.

Excel Window Size

Exit Full-Screen Mode

  1. If you're in full-screen mode, the formula bar might be hidden.

  2. Locate the "Exit Full Screen" button, usually found at the top-right corner of the Excel window.

  3. Click on it to exit full-screen mode and regain access to the formula bar.

Exit Excel Window Size

Restart Excel

  1. Close Excel completely.

  2. Reopen Excel by clicking on its icon.

  3. This simple action can often reset any interface glitches and bring back the formula bar.

Check Workbook Settings

  1. Sometimes, workbook-specific settings might affect the visibility of the formula bar.

  2. Open the workbook where the formula bar is missing.

  3. Go to the "File" tab, then select "Options."

Check Excel options

  1. In the Excel Options window, navigate to the "Advanced" section.

  2. Ensure that the "Show formula bar" option is checked under the "Display" section.

Check Excel Formula bar

Try a Different Worksheet or Workbook

  1. Create a new worksheet or open a different workbook.

  2. Check if the formula bar is visible in this new context.

  3. If it is, there might be something specific to the previous worksheet or workbook causing the issue.

By following these steps, you can systematically troubleshoot and resolve the mystery of the disappeared formula bar in Excel. Remember, even the most intricate Excel hiccups have straightforward solutions, and your formula bar will be back in action in no time. Happy spreadsheeting!

Part 3: Exploring an Alternative to Microsoft Excel - WPS Office

WPS Office

While Microsoft Excel remains a cornerstone of spreadsheet software, there are alternative options that offer powerful features without the price tag. One such contender is WPS Office, a versatile suite that includes a spreadsheet application among its tools. Let's take a glimpse at WPS Office and highlight some of its noteworthy features.

Main Features of WPS Office:

  • Free of Charge: WPS Office presents a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Excel. It offers a comprehensive suite of office applications, including Writer (word processing), Presentation (slides), and of course, Spreadsheets.

  • User-Friendly Interface: With an interface resembling the familiar Microsoft Office layout, WPS Office provides users with a seamless transition.

  • Good Compatibility: WPS Office prioritizes compatibility, allowing you to work with various file formats, including those from Microsoft Office.

  • Built-in Templates: WPS Office boasts a range of professionally designed templates for spreadsheets, presentations, and documents.

  • Cloud Integration: The software offers seamless integration with cloud storage services, enabling you to store and access your documents from anywhere with an internet connection.

    Trustpilotstars4.8
    WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
    5,820,008 User
    avator
    Algirdas Jasaitis
    logo
    • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

    • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

    • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

    • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I get my formula bar back in Excel?

To bring back the Formula Bar in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Click on the "View" tab located on the top menu bar.

  • In the "Show" group, locate the "Formula Bar" checkbox.

  • If the checkbox is not selected, click on it to toggle the Formula Bar's visibility on.

  • If you wish to expand the Formula Bar to show more of the formula, press CONTROL+SHIFT+U.

2. How do I turn off the auto-hide ribbon in Excel?

If you want to disable the Ribbon's auto-hide feature in Full Screen Run mode, follow these steps:

  • Press the "Alt" key to display the Quick Access toolbar.

  • On the Quick Access toolbar, find the "Auto Hide the Ribbon" option.

  • Clear the checkbox next to "Auto Hide the Ribbon."

Conclusion: Fixing the Formula Bar Disappeared in Excel

In this article, we tackled the perplexing issue of the vanished formula bar in Microsoft Excel, providing you with a comprehensive guide to resolve this common hiccup. From toggling formula bar visibility to checking workbook settings, our step-by-step tutorial equipped you with the tools to effortlessly bring back the indispensable formula bar.

As we navigated the terrain of spreadsheet software, we also introduced an enticing alternative – WPS Office. This free suite offers an array of powerful features that rival those of Microsoft Excel. With its user-friendly interface, compatibility with various file formats, built-in templates, and seamless cloud integration, WPS Office presents a compelling choice for those seeking an efficient and cost-effective solution for their office tasks.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.