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How to Hide and Show Formula Bar in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

August 21, 2023 1.0K views

Unlocking the potential of Excel relies on understanding its various features. The formula bar, a dynamic hub for crafting and evaluating formulas, is a prime example. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the art of hiding and showing the formula bar in Excel, ensuring you're in complete control of your workspace.

Part 1: What is a Formula Bar?

The Formula Bar is a toolbar that appears at the top of the Excel worksheet, below the Ribbon. It displays the contents of the active cell, which can be either a value or a formula. The Formula Bar also allows you to create and edit formulas, as well as view the results of formulas that have already been entered.

Here are some of the things you can do with the Formula Bar:

  • Enter a new formula by typing it into the Formula Bar.

  • Edit an existing formula by clicking on the cell that contains the formula and then making changes to the formula in the Formula Bar.

  • View the results of a formula by clicking on the cell that contains the formula.

  • Use the Formula Bar to insert functions into your formulas.

  • Use the Formula Bar to copy and paste formulas from one cell to another.

The Formula Bar is a powerful tool that can help you to create and manage formulas in Excel. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Formula Bar if you want to get the most out of Excel.

Part 2: How to Hide or Show Formula Bar in Excel?

The formula bar in Excel plays a pivotal role in creating and editing formulas, giving you a bird's-eye view of your calculations. Depending on your preference and task at hand, you can choose to either display or hide the formula bar. Let's explore both scenarios with step-by-step instructions and insightful tips.

#1. Show Formula Bar

Method 1: Using the Ribbon

Are you ready to uncover the inner workings of your Excel formulas? Method 1 takes you on a journey through the Excel ribbon, guiding you to effortlessly display the formula bar. This method is perfect when you want a comprehensive view of your calculations, enabling you to fine-tune your formulas with precision.

Step 1: Open Excel on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to the "View" tab on the Excel ribbon.

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

Step 4: Check the "Formula Bar" option to display the formula bar.

This is the most traditional way to show or hide the Formula Bar. It is also the most visually obvious method, as the Formula Bar checkbox is clearly labeled in the Show group. However, it can be a bit slow to navigate to the View tab, especially if you are working with a large workbook.

Method 2: Using Excel Options

Tired of toggling the formula bar every time you open Excel? Method 2 introduces you to a more permanent solution. By diving into Excel's advanced options, you can customize your Excel experience to consistently show the formula bar, ensuring it's readily available whenever you need it. This method is all about convenience and tailored preferences, letting you take control of your workspace.

Step 1: Launch Excel.

Step 2: Click on "File" in the top left corner to access the Backstage view.

Step 3: Choose "Options" at the bottom of the menu.

Step 4: In the Excel Options window, select "Advanced."

Step 5: Scroll down to the "Display " section.

Step 6: Check the "Show formula bar" box.

Step 7: Click "OK" to confirm your selection.

This is a more roundabout way to show or hide the Formula Bar, but it can be useful if you want to change other settings in the Advanced dialog box at the same time. I also find it to be a bit more reliable than the View tab method, as it is less likely to be affected by technical issues.

#2. Hide Formula Bar

Method 1: Using Excel Options

Sometimes, a clean and focused workspace is exactly what you need. Method 1 reveals how to gracefully hide the formula bar using Excel's options. By minimizing distractions, you can dedicate your screen real estate to your data and calculations. If you're looking to streamline your interface and concentrate on data entry, this method is your ticket to a clutter-free environment.

Step 1: Open Excel.

Step 2: Click on the "File" tab to access the Backstage view.

Step 3: Select "Options" at the bottom.

Step 4: In the Excel Options window, go to the "Advanced" section.

Step 5: Scroll down to the "Display " area.

Step 6: Uncheck the "Show formula bar" box.

Step 7: Click "OK" to save your changes.

his is the same method as for showing the Formula Bar, but with the Show Formula Bar checkbox unchecked. I find this method to be very reliable and easy to use.

Method 2: Using the Ribbon

Want to declutter your workspace on the fly? Method 2 shows you how to quickly hide the formula bar with a simple ribbon command. Whether you're working on a spreadsheet that requires maximum space or you prefer a minimalist setup, this method offers a swift and efficient way to temporarily conceal the formula bar, giving you the flexibility to adapt to different tasks.

Step 1: Launch Excel.

Step 2: Go to the "View" tab on the ribbon.

Step 3: Locate the "Show" group within the "View" tab.

Step 4: Uncheck the "Formula Bar" option to hide the formula bar.

This is the same method as for showing the Formula Bar, but with the Formula Bar checkbox unchecked. I find this method to be quick and easy to use, but it is not as reliable as the Excel Options method.

Here are some additional tips:

  • You can also use the keyboard shortcut ALT+W to toggle the visibility of the Formula Bar. This will hide or show the Formula Bar, depending on its current state.

  • If the Formula Bar is hidden, you can still access it by clicking on a cell that contains a formula. The Formula Bar will appear automatically.

  • If you hide the Formula Bar, you will not be able to see the formulas in your cells. However, you can still edit and use the formulas by clicking on the cells that contain them.

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FAQ

1. How Do You Edit the Formula Bar in Excel?

Editing formulas in Excel is a breeze:

Step 1: Select the Cell: Click the cell with the formula you want to edit.

Step 2: Formula Bar: Look at the formula bar above your sheet.

Step 3: Make Changes: Click the formula in the bar and edit as needed.

Step 4: Enter: Press "Enter" to confirm your changes.

Step 5: Review: Double-check your formula's impact on your data.

For quick editing, use the "F2" key or arrow keys. Mastering this skill will level up your Excel game!

2. How Do We Customize Formula Options in Excel?

Customizing formula options in Excel is quick:

Step 1: Formulas Tab: Open Excel and go to the "Formulas" tab.

Step 2: Formula Auditing: Look for "Formula Auditing" group.

Step 3: Options: Click "Formula Options."

Now, customize settings for calculation, error checking, number format, data, iteration, and precision. Tailor your Excel formulas to work just the way you need them!

3. How Do I Edit a Formula Sheet?

Editing a formula sheet in Excel is straightforward:

Step 1: Select Cell: Click on the cell containing the formula you want to edit.

Step 2: Formula Bar: Look at the formula bar above your sheet.

Step 3: Edit: Click inside the formula bar to edit the formula.

Step 4: Enter: Press "Enter" to confirm your changes.

Your edited formula will instantly update, allowing you to fine-tune calculations and optimize your data.

Summary

In this guide, you've mastered Excel's formula bar, learning how to effortlessly show or hide it, tailor formulas, and optimize your workspace. As a key highlight, discover the transformative power of WPS Office – a modern and free alternative – offering an intuitive interface and versatile tools for streamlined productivity across various platforms. Elevate your office tasks with WPS Office's user-friendly features and unleash your true potential.

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