Excel Shortcut: Show Formulas and Save Time

Understanding Excel Formulas and Shortcuts

Basics of Excel Formulas

Excel formulas are the backbone of any worksheet. They are used to perform calculations, manipulate data, and automate tasks. It is important to understand the basics of Excel formulas before using shortcuts to make calculations more efficient.

The formula bar is where formulas are entered and edited. It is located at the top of the worksheet and displays the contents of the active cell. Formulas can also be entered directly into a cell by starting with an equal sign (=).

Cell references are used to refer to a specific cell or range of cells in a formula. They can be absolute, relative, or mixed. Absolute references do not change when copied, relative references change based on the location of the formula, and mixed references have a fixed row or column.

Excel Shortcut Keys

Excel shortcut keys are a great way to increase efficiency and productivity. They can be used to perform a variety of tasks, including navigating the workbook, selecting cells, and formatting data.

The ribbon is a great resource for finding keyboard shortcuts. The Formulas tab has a Formula Auditing group that includes shortcuts for displaying formulas, auditing formulas, and editing cells.

Some commonly used keyboard shortcuts include:

  • F2: Edit mode
  • Ctrl + `: Toggle between displaying formulas and values
  • F9: Calculate all open workbooks
  • Ctrl + Shift + F3: Create names from row and column labels
  • Alt + F9: Display formulas in cells instead of values
  • Ctrl + Alt + F9: Calculate all worksheets in all open workbooks

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, the ribbon also has a Show Formulas button that can be used to display all formulas in the worksheet. This is useful for auditing formulas and checking for errors.

Overall, understanding Excel formulas and shortcuts can greatly increase efficiency and productivity. By using these tools, users can save time and improve accuracy in their calculations.

Troubleshooting and Auditing Formulas in Excel

Formula Auditing and Error Handling

When working with formulas in Excel, it is important to ensure their accuracy and troubleshoot any errors that may arise. The following techniques can be used to audit and handle errors in formulas:

  • Toggle Show Formulas: This keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + `) can be used to toggle between displaying the formula and the resulting value in the cell. This is particularly useful for checking the accuracy of formulas and identifying errors.
  • Formula Auditing Group: The Formula Auditing group on the Formulas tab provides several tools for auditing formulas, including trace precedents, trace dependents, and error checking.
  • F9 Key: Pressing F9 will calculate the selected range of cells and display the resulting values. This can be useful for troubleshooting formulas and identifying errors.
  • #N/A Error: This error occurs when a formula cannot return a valid value. It can be handled using the IFERROR function or by troubleshooting the formula to identify and resolve the underlying issue.

Protecting and Hiding Formulas

Excel also provides several tools for protecting and hiding formulas to ensure their accuracy and prevent unauthorized access. The following techniques can be used to protect and hide formulas:

  • Protect Workbook: The Protect Workbook feature can be used to password-protect the workbook and prevent unauthorized access to formulas and data.
  • Hide Formulas: The Format Cells dialog box can be used to hide formulas in specific cells. This can be useful for protecting sensitive or proprietary information.
  • Password Protection: Password protection can be used to prevent unauthorized access to formulas and data. This can be particularly useful in shared workbooks or when working with confidential information.

By using these techniques, users can ensure the accuracy and security of their formulas and data in Excel.


  • Collin Bennett

    eagle-eyed fact-checker at the heart of every post's accuracy. In an age where information is abundant and mistakes are costly, Samuel stands as the gatekeeper of truth for all Excel-related content. His meticulous approach ensures that every formula, every function, and every data-driven insight is both precise and verifiable.

  • James Davis

    Tech geek, excel super-user, software guru, and your go-to guy for all things digital. James has spent over a decade diving deep into the latest software and gadgets, making tech jargon easy for the rest of us. When he's not geeking out over the newest release, he's probably hunting for some new Excel tips as James spent 7 years perfecting his excel skills!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.