Excel cell shows formula and not the result

Here is the problem:

equation in cell 1b

The bottom cell on the right shows the formula instead of the result .


This is a problem I kept running into a couple of times and every time I wasted time to remember the solution. When the excel cell is showing the function it may for example be triggered by pressing the CTRL~ combination, which toggles the formula view.



1. Press “CTRL” + “~” to toggle back to result view.

2. Remove any space,’.’ ‘,’ or any other accidentally placed letter or punctiation mark in front of the ‘=’.

3. Make sure the cell is formatted as number:

Set to Number1

4. Instead of CTRL~ change in the option if the spreadsheet is set to show all formulas:

a) Open the Excel Options:

 Excel Menu

b) Under Advanced scroll down to Display options for this worksheet and make sure Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results is unchecked.


 Exel Options

Finally, as an easy fix simply tying the equal sign (“=”) again may help as well.


Tip: As annoying it may be when the change is not intended, it can actually be quite useful to show formulas by either changing in options (see 4.) or by pressing CTRL~. For example when explaining functions to someone else or when trying to understand a spreadsheet set up by another person it may come in handy when the Excel cell shows the actual formula.