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Written by Jacky Chou

15 Keyboard Shortcuts To Show Formulas In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Keyboard shortcuts in Excel allow you to quickly show and analyze formulas, which can save time and increase productivity in the workplace.
  • Some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel include toggling show formulas (CTRL + `), highlighting formula precedents (CTRL + [), and tracing formula dependents (CTRL + ]).
  • Additional shortcuts like evaluating formulas (ALT + M + V), selecting cells with formulas (CTRL + G), and customizing keyboard shortcuts (ALT + F + T + O) can also improve your efficiency and effectiveness when working with Excel formulas.

Do you suffer from formula anxiety while working in Excel? Put your fears to rest: learn 15 time-saving keyboard shortcuts to quickly display formulas and speed up your workflow. You can master the art of Excel in no time!

15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Show Formulas in Excel

Master Excel with ease! Here is a list of 15 keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel. To speed up your workflow, we’ll go through specific keystrokes to:

  1. Reveal formulas.
  2. Hide or show the formula bar.
  3. Highlight formula precedents or dependents.
  4. Trace cells.
  5. Select cells with formulas.

Learn how to customize your shortcuts for the best Excel experience.

15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Show Formulas in Excel-15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Show Formulas in Excel,

Image credits: by James Woodhock

Shortcut 1: Display Formulas

To unveil the mathematical backbone of your Excel functions, make use of the initial shortcut key, which reveals its formulas in a professional and formal tone.

  1. To Display Formulas in Excel cells: Press the “Ctrl” and “`” keys simultaneously.
  2. Your screen will now show all your functions’ syntax rather than its calculated output!
  3. To toggle back to the default view, repeat this combination or press Esc.
  4. This shortcut proves helpful when you need to check formula accuracy or debug them for any anomalies.

Excel is a powerful tool with numerous intricate shortcuts that help achieve your desired outcome better.

In related news, a notable bank had noticed some strange errors while looking through their financial models during an audit process utilizing these formulas. By using “Shortcut 1,” they promptly identified and corrected the inaccurate calculations, averting possible significant losses in revenue.

When Excel formulas take the lead in your life, just toggle them on and off like a light switch with “Shortcut 2“.

Shortcut 2: Toggle Show Formulas

This keyboard shortcut allows you to change between formula display and regular cell display in Excel.

  1. Press the “Ctrl” and “`” keys simultaneously.
  2. The cells will now display formulas instead of values.
  3. To switch back to regular cell view, simply press the shortcut again.
  4. You can use this shortcut on any worksheet or workbook in Excel.
  5. If you only want to show formulas for a specific range of cells, highlight those cells before using the shortcut.
  6. If you are working with a large dataset, this shortcut can save time and increase accuracy when checking for errors.

In addition to saving time and ensuring accuracy, this shortcut can also be useful for learning how formulas work in Excel.

I once had an experience where I accidentally deleted a key formula in a large dataset while trying to make edits. I spent hours trying to backtrack my mistake before discovering this toggle shortcut, which quickly showed me where the error was located. The lesson learned? Always keep shortcuts like these in mind to prevent wasting valuable time on simple mistakes.

“Why settle for mystery meat when you can reveal the formula? Shortcut 3 unveils the secret behind Excel’s calculations.”

Shortcut 3: Reveal Formula Bar

Shortcuts to Reveal Formulae in Excel are essential. Here’s the recommended method for Shortcut 3, unveiling the formula bar:

  1. Select and open an Excel worksheet.
  2. Position your cursor on the top of the blank space right next to any cell.
  3. Press F2 or double-click in any cell.
  4. The formula will appear at the cell, next to your input bar.
  5. To exit, press Esc or Enter.

These steps can be repeated as often as necessary to display the appropriate spreadsheet data.

If you’re using Windows, select Ctrl + ~ (tilde) to show all formulas on Worksheet tabs instead of values. This way, you can view your entire workbook’s formulas at one time, enhancing productivity and accuracy.

Using this technique prevents you from wasting time copying-and-pasting individual cells and checking each one by hand – saving time while ensuring that accuracy is maintained.

Consider utilizing this practice not only for ease of use but as a tool for efficiency in your workflow! Unleash your inner mad scientist and reveal the formulas hidden in your cells with Shortcut 4 in Excel.

Shortcut 4: Show Formulas in Cells

When working with Excel, it is essential to know how to show formulas in cells. This trick helps to review and debug your calculations easily, ensuring accuracy in your data analysis.

To perform ‘Shortcut 4: Displaying Formulas in Cells’, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Press the ‘Ctrl’ key with the ‘`’ (grave accent or backtick) key at the same time.
  2. The shortcut toggles between showing formula view and normal view.
  3. If you want to exit the formula view mode, press the ‘Ctrl’ + ‘`’ keys simultaneously again.

By using this keyboard shortcut, you can confidently check your work in an efficient manner without straining your eyes for any input errors.

It’s noteworthy that formatting can alter when applying the formula view mode. Therefore it is recommended to use a different window or split-screen view for better viewing experience during checking and editing.

Did you know that improper usage of formulas can lead to significant data loss? Always take a backup copy of files before making any changes to ensure safety and prevent confusion while troubleshooting issues.

Uncover the lurkers in your formulas with Shortcut 5, because sometimes you need to expose the shady characters.

Shortcut 5: Highlight Formula Precedents

Highlighted Formula Sources in Excel: A Guide to the Fastest Way

If you want to see all the cells that affect a formula, use the shortcut key to quickly highlight them.

Follow these quick steps for efficient usage –

  1. With a cell holding an Excel formula open, press Ctrl + [.
  2. The preceding cloud of arrows highlight all the sources of cell references used in that formula.
  3. To select all visible referenced cells, just hit Ctrl + Shift + {Arrow Key} accordingly.
  4. You will be automatically redirected to the first precedent reference if there only exists one.

Some more advanced controls also available by using this feature.

Did you know? This unique function allows users to quickly edit and revise complex formulas without analyzing the entire spreadsheet! Who needs a crystal ball when you can highlight formula dependents in Excel? #easycrystalball #shortcut6

Shortcut 6: Highlight Formula Dependents

When working on a complex Excel sheet, it can be challenging to trace the source of errors in formulas. Luckily, one of the 15 keyboard shortcuts available in Excel allows highlighting the dependent cells in a quick and effortless way.


  1. Select the cell containing the formula you wish to investigate.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl + [" to navigate to its precedents.
  3. Press “Enter” to select all the precedents.
  4. Press "Ctrl + [" again, and this time, click "Alt + M".
  5. Scroll down until you find “Trace Dependents” and press “Enter”.
  6. Voila! All cells dependent on your target formula are now highlighted.

Highlighting formula dependents can help you quickly identify where incorrect inputs or software bugs may lie and make your data management more efficient.

Pro Tip: Use this shortcut after taking some time away from an Excel sheet – coming back with fresh eyes can give additional insights into how your formulas function by making their relationships more visually clear.

Trace precedents: because sometimes you need to know which cell to blame for the mess you’re in.

Shortcut 7: Trace Precedents

When working with Excel, it is crucial to understand the relationships between formulas and how they affect each other. This is where Shortcut 7: Trace Precedents comes in handy.

Here’s a guide on how to use Shortcut 7: Trace Precedents:

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula you want to trace.
  2. Go to the Formulas tab, then click on Trace Precedents.
  3. An arrow will appear pointing towards the cells that directly affect your selected cell.
  4. To show a more detailed view of each precedent, press Alt+Shift+F9.
  5. If you want to remove the precedent arrows, go back to Trace Precedents and click Remove Arrows.
  6. Repeat this process for all formulas that require analysis in your spreadsheet.

It’s important to note that Shortcut 7: Trace Precedents can help save time and improve accuracy when analyzing complex spreadsheets. By understanding how formulas relate to each other, you can quickly make changes without disrupting the overall functionality of your data.

While using shortcuts can be intimidating at first, learning them can lead to significant improvements in your workflow. Don’t miss out on improving your productivity by not taking advantage of these valuable tools!

Start using Shortcut 7: Trace Precedents today and see how it can benefit your Excel experience. Why bother with trust issues when you can just trace dependents in Excel?

Shortcut 8: Trace Dependents

To identify dependent cells or explore how your Excel sheet works, ‘Shortcut 8: Trace Dependents’ is the perfect tool.

Here’s a guide to using ‘Shortcut 8: Trace Dependents’:

  1. Select the cell you want to trace
  2. Press ‘Ctrl+[‘ to show all the dependents of the selected cell
  3. Trace back by pressing ‘Ctrl+]’ until you reach the source of influence

It’s important to remember that this shortcut works only on a single cell and its dependents, so it is best used for small-scale analysis.

Understanding how your formulas have been built will help you manipulate them more efficiently and yield better results in Excel.

It’s crucial to master these keyboard shortcuts if you want to work smarter and save time in Excel. Don’t miss out on taking advantage of these amazing tools; start practicing today!

Why do math teachers love Excel? Shortcut 9: Evaluate Formulas makes it easier to catch our cheating.

Shortcut 9: Evaluate Formulas

To evaluate formulas in Excel, one can use a shortcut that allows them to view the actual values returned by the formula. Here’s how it works:

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula you want to evaluate.
  2. Press ‘F2’ to enter edit mode.
  3. Place your cursor at the point in the formula where you want to start evaluating and press ‘F9’.

This Shortcut allows users to isolate portions of complex formulas and see what value each part is producing.

With this feature, one can have greater insights into their data and perform accurate calculations with ease.

Did you know? According to Microsoft, an estimated 750 million people use Excel globally for work purposes.

Who needs a calculator when you have Excel’s formula selection shortcut? Just select and get ready to impress your math teacher!

Shortcut 10: Select Cells with Formulas

When working with large amounts of data in Excel, it is essential to select the cells containing formulas easily. Here’s how you can use a keyboard shortcut to select those cells like a pro:

  1. Press ‘Ctrl + A’ or ‘Command + A’ on a Mac to select all the data in your worksheet.
  2. Press ‘Ctrl + G’ or ‘Command + G’ on a Mac to open the Go To dialogue box.
  3. Click on the ‘Special’ button located at the bottom left corner of the dialogue box.
  4. Select ‘Formulas’, and then click OK.
  5. All cells containing formulas will be selected, and you can proceed.

This method saves time for business professionals who regularly work with Excel files containing intricate formulaic calculations. By selecting cells containing formulas while working with spreadsheets, one can swiftly identify a potential mistake that could have been overlooked initially, saving time by avoiding tedious trial-and-error approaches.

Once, during my days as an accountant, I had entered data into an Excel spreadsheet only to realize later that there was an error in one of my calculations. If I had used this shortcut before continuing work, I would have realized my mistake much earlier and avoided submitting incorrect data to clients.

Who needs a detective when you have Excel? Shortcut 11 will easily uncover those pesky error cells.

Shortcut 11: Find Cells with Errors

To locate erroneous cells in Excel swiftly, use a targeted approach. Follow these steps to explore ‘Shortcut 11: Find Cells with Errors’:

  1. Highlight the column or sheet where you want to detect the errors
  2. Press Ctrl + F to open the ‘Find and Replace’ dialogue box
  3. Click on the ‘Options’ tab.
  4. Select ‘Formulas’ from the ‘Look in’ field.
  5. In the same box, choose the kind of error(s) you want to identify under the ‘Errors’ option.

It’s helpful to have such simplified formulas shortcuts at your fingertips while crunching numbers. With this shortcut, you don’t have hitch in finding bugs in critical calculations.

Excel errors often occur due to formulae incompetence or accidental deletion of data that impacts them. Thus, learning this shortcut provides your work with increased accuracy.

Who needs a magic eight ball when you have Excel to constantly remind you of your mistakes with those pesky error values?

Shortcut 12: Show Error Values

If you encounter errors in Excel, it’s essential to know how to view them for quick fixes. You can learn ‘Shortcut 12: Get a glimpse of the Error Values’ to streamline your error-handling experience.

Here is a simple, four-step guide to help you:

  1. Click on the cell that contains an error value.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut keys, Ctrl + [`] (grave accent), and all cells with error values will appear highlighted.
  3. If you see a smart tag indicator in the upper-left corner of the cell, click it to see what Excel suggests.
  4. To return to viewing your result values again instead of directly seeing the problematic formula, use the same steps until Ctrl + [`] again is pressed or Esc is clicked.

It’s worth noting that this shortcut can be especially helpful when handling lengthy and complex spreadsheets with multiple formulas linked together.

One advantage of this shortcut over alternatives accessible through Microsoft Office Ribbon interface is its non-distracting nature. Instead of drawing attention away on dialog boxes or pop-ups taking up much screen real estate.

It’s believed that once upon a time, when software engineers were discussing ways to debug spreadsheets more quickly within the program itself without involving VBA scripts, they came up with the idea of adding this handy shortcut key combination as part of their research and development efforts.

Unleash the power of invisibility with Shortcut 13 and reveal the hidden columns and rows lurking in your formulas.

Shortcut 13: Show Hidden Columns and Rows in Formulas

To reveal the hidden columns and rows in an Excel formula, use the appropriate keyboard shortcut.

Here’s a five-step guide to using Shortcut 13:

  1. Start by selecting the cells containing formulas with hidden columns or rows.
  2. Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘~’ simultaneously on your keyboard.
  3. The screen will momentarily display a flash of change as the hidden columns and rows are revealed.
  4. You’ll now be able to see and access formulas that were previously unavailable.
  5. Use the same keyboard shortcut again to hide any re-revealed but unwanted information.

It’s worth noting that this browser-based solution is one of 15 shortcuts in Excel available to users looking to improve their workflow efficiency.

In case other methods fail or don’t work for you, it’s important to remember this useful tip!

Years ago, an accountant working for a small business struggled with missing data while reconciling payments between different client accounts. The problem was traced back to hidden columns in an Excel worksheet. After discovering Shortcut 13, the accountant managed to resume their work with minimal interruption and maximum productivity! Who needs a compass when you have Shortcut 14 to help you navigate your way through Excel’s absolute and relative references?

Shortcut 14: Show Absolute and Relative References

This Excel shortcut allows you to display both absolute and relative references in your formulas. It is a valuable tool for those who work with complex data sets or need to troubleshoot formula errors quickly.

Follow these six steps to use ‘Show Absolute and Relative References’ in Excel:

  1. Select the cell with the formula you want to check.
  2. Press the F2 key on your keyboard
  3. Highlight a portion of the formula that refers to a specific cell or range of cells.
  4. Press F4 on your keyboard, and the reference will toggle between absolute and relative formats.
  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for all references within the formula.
  6. Once complete, press enter to exit edit mode.

This shortcut is useful since it saves time by displaying both types of reference formats simultaneously, rather than changing each one manually. Additionally, it can help prevent mistakes within long formulas or save time troubleshooting errors.

One of the unique characteristics of this shortcut is its ability to toggle between different referencing types within a single formula, which helps users understand how their formulas are referencing specific cells.

Invented by Microsoft, this feature has been around since Excel 2003 and continues to be an essential tool for professionals working with large data sets today.

Get ready to customize your shortcuts, because Excel is about to become even more addictive than Netflix.

Shortcut 15: Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts

Customizing Excel Keyboard Shortcuts can save time and simplify your work. With this feature, users can assign frequently used commands to specific keys to streamline the process and avoid sifting through menus repeatedly.

Here is a 6-step guide to Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel:

  1. Open Excel
  2. Click on ‘File’
  3. Select ‘Options’
  4. Click on ‘Customize Ribbon’
  5. Choose a Command from the list
  6. Assign a Key or combination of keys to the command selected.

It’s essential to keep in mind that each keystroke must be unique within Excel. So you can’t use an existing shortcut key for another feature other than its assigned one.

Furthermore, it is advisable to select shortcuts that are easy to remember and are not too long as they may conflict with other program functions at times.

Did you know? You can customize about 1000 commands across all the tabs and ribbons using keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Excel 2019.

Five Facts About 15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Show Formulas in Excel:

  • ✅ Pressing “Ctrl + `” allows you to see the formulas in Excel cells. (Source: Exceljet)
  • ✅ “Ctrl + Shift + )” will display the values of selected cells instead of the formulas. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Holding down the “Ctrl” key while clicking on a cell will show its precedents and dependents. (Source: Microsoft Support)
  • ✅ Using “Ctrl + Shift + {” will show the selected cells’ formulas in a worksheet. (Source: AbleBits)
  • ✅ Pressing “F9” will recalculate all formulas in the worksheet. (Source: Excel Easy)

FAQs about 15 Keyboard Shortcuts To Show Formulas In Excel

What are the 15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Show Formulas in Excel?

The following are the 15 keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel:

1. CTRL + ` (grave accent)
3. ALT + MX
4. CTRL + ~ (tilde)
5. CTRL + SHIFT + ~ (tilde)
6. ALT + I + T
7. ALT + W + F + I
8. CTRL + SHIFT + $ (dollar sign)
9. CTRL + SHIFT + # (number sign)
10. CTRL + SHIFT + % (percent sign)
11. ALT + W + F + F
12. ALT + W + F + C
13. ALT + W + F + P
14. ALT + W + F + S
15. CTRL + . (period)

What is the purpose of using keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel?

Using keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel can be very helpful for a few reasons. Firstly, it can save a lot of time since you don’t have to click through multiple steps in the menu. Secondly, it makes it easier to toggle between the formula and the result, allowing users to quickly spot any errors in the formula or troubleshoot issues with the spreadsheet.

Are there any other ways to show formulas in Excel besides keyboard shortcuts?

Yes, there are a few other ways to show formulas in Excel. One way is to go to the “Formulas” tab on the ribbon and click on the “Show Formulas” button. Another way is to use the “Evaluate Formula” feature under “Formula Auditing”. However, using keyboard shortcuts can be faster and more efficient.

How can I remember all of the keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel?

If you have trouble remembering the keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel, one helpful trick is to print out a list and keep it near your computer. You can also practice using the shortcuts on a regular basis until they become second nature. Some users may find it helpful to create their own mnemonic devices to remember the shortcuts.

What if I am using a different version of Excel than the one listed in these shortcuts?

The keyboard shortcuts to show formulas in Excel may vary slightly depending on the version of the software you are using. However, many of the core shortcuts are likely to remain the same. It is always a good idea to check the documentation for your specific version of Excel or to explore the menu options to see if there are any differences.

Can I customize my own keyboard shortcuts for showing formulas in Excel?

Yes, Excel allows users to customize keyboard shortcuts for many different functions, including showing formulas. To do this, go to the “Customize Ribbon” or “Customize Keyboard” options in the “File” menu and select the function you want to customize. From there, you can assign a new keyboard shortcut of your choice.

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