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How to display and hide formulas in Excel?

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Excel is a Microsoft-owned spreadsheet service that is extensively used by both professionals as well as general consumers. This service offers excellent options to tweak your presentations or to keep a tab on your monthly activities.

Formulas make our life more comfortable, and Excel has been good at accommodating your needs in this regards since very early on in its lifetime. In this article, we explain how you can display as well as hide formulas in Excel.

Display formula in Excel

If you want to see formulas in Excel, here are the steps that you have to follow.

  • Open the spreadsheet and then click on Formulas at the top.
  • After that, click on Show formulas under the Formula Auditing section. (Look at the screenshot above to get an idea).

Notice the above screenshot where I have applied the SUM formula to add the numbers under Option1. Here you can see the formula on the cell B6.

To use the shortcut method to either hide or reveal formula in Excel, type Ctrl + ` (grave accent) from the keyboard. This key is present at the top of the Tab button.

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Hiding formula in Excel

There are different ways to hide the formula in Excel.

Method 1: By the Show Formula option and its shortcut

Hiding the formula in Excel is also very easy. Just like we displayed the formula using the Show Formula option in the above steps, we can hide the formula too using the same steps.

Go to Formulas > Show Formulas again to hide the formula or can use the shortcut Ctrl + `. Check the screenshot below to see how the values look after we have turned off the Show Formula option.

You can check the B6 cell from the above screenshot. Instead of the whole formula, it is showing the value of the sum.

Method 2: By protecting the sheet 

Here the steps to hide formula by protecting the spreadsheet. In this method, you will have to perform two processes — first, restrict the formula from bring displayed and then password protecting the sheet.

Step 1: Go to Home > Format > Format Cells.Step 2: In the new window, select Protection > Hidden and then hit OK. This is the end of the first process. Step 3: Now, go to Review > Protect Sheet > Enter the Password > OK. This is the end of the second process.

Remember to tick mark the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells option in Step 3 after ProtectSheet option.

To unhide the formula again, go to Review > Unprotect Worksheet. In case, you do not want the formula hidden when you protect the worksheet, don’t hit the tick mark before the Hidden option in Step 2.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: