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Google Sheets Tips

How to Show Formulas in Google Sheets

In this post, you will learn how to show and hide formulas in Google Sheets.

This function is useful when you want to see where each number in cells comes from - manual input, cell references in the same sheet or from other sheets, or external databases - or find something strange or wrong to be modified by allowing you to look at formulas used on the sheet at a glance.

What is showing formulas in Google Sheets?

In Google Sheets, "Showing Formulas" refers to a feature that allows you to display the actual formulas used in cells, rather than the calculated results.

By enabling the "Show Formulas" option, you can view the formulas that are entered in cells and see how they are being used to calculate the values displayed in those cells. 

Why is it important to show formulas in Google Sheets?

Showing formulas in Google Sheets is important for:

  • Formula Verification: Verify the accuracy of formulas by checking for correct writing, cell references, and desired calculations, helping to identify and fix formula errors or discrepancies

  • Troubleshooting: Aid in identifying and resolving formula-related issues, such as incorrect references, operators, or functions, for more efficient problem-solving

  • Understanding Complex Spreadsheets: Provide visibility into complex formulas, facilitating comprehension of relationships between cells or ranges and their contribution to final results

  • Learning and Teaching: Act as an educational tool for learners, teachers, or collaborators to understand and master spreadsheet functions and calculations by seeing actual formulas in cells

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How to show formula in Google Sheets

With a shortcut key

  • Press “Ctrl” and “`” simultaneously for Windows and Mac

  • Done

Without a shortcut key

  • Go to “Show” tab, select “View”, and check “Formulas”

  • Done

How to show formulas in Google Sheets

How to delete formula in Google Sheets

You can switch off the function by following the same steps as you turn it on.

With a shortcut key

  • Press “Ctrl” and “`” simultaneously for Windows and Mac 

  • Done

Without a shortcut key

  • Go to “Show” tab, select “View”, and uncheck “Formulas”

  • Done

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