Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Controlling Display of the Formula Bar.

Controlling Display of the Formula Bar

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 19, 2018)

3

The Formula Bar is the area at the top of the Excel window, just below the ribbon area or the Formatting toolbar, depending on your version of Excel. The Formula Bar has two parts: at the left is the Name Box, and to the right is the contents of the currently selected cell.

If you need more room to view a worksheet, or you don't need the information provided by the Formula Bar, you can turn it off. To control display of the Formula Bar, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options. Excel displays the Excel Options dialog box.
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Display options. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Click on the Show Formula Bar check box. If it is selected, then the Formula Bar is displayed; not selected means it won't be displayed.
  6. Click on OK.

You can also use the Formula Bar option from the View tab of the ribbon. This option functions like a toggle—click on it once and the Formula Bar disappears; click again and it reappears.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7558) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Controlling Display of the Formula Bar.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Conditionally Formatting for a Pattern

Conditional formatting is a great tool you can use to customzie your worksheets. When you want to test whether a value in ...

Discover More

Understanding the While...Wend Structure

One of the basic programming structures used in VBA is the While ... Wend structure. This structure helps to make the ...

Discover More

Stopping a Checked Box from being Unchecked

When creating user forms for use in Excel, you are provided with a range of controls you can add, including check boxes. ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Displaying Page Breaks

Page breaks can be added to a worksheet manually or automatically. If you want to see where Excel places page breaks, ...

Discover More

Displaying Excel's Developer Tab

The Developer tab of the ribbon is the gateway to many advanced features in Excel, including those features related to ...

Discover More

Fixing the Decimal Point

Don't want to always type the decimal point as you enter information in a worksheet? If you are entering information that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 4?

2018-08-17 11:34:06

Morris Manning

JM, A web search suggests several approaches.

If the formula bar is missing entirely, go to View >Show and make sure Formula Bar is checked.

It is possible there may be a copy of Excel running in the background but not visible. Exit Excel. Go to Windows Task Manager > Processes and shut down any instance of Excel that may be running.

If none of the above works, try repairing Excel by running a repair on your office programs: Control Panel > Programs & Features.

Hope this helps.


2018-08-16 16:36:02

JM

I lost the pane that shows the cell column letter and row number, which is left to the formula bar. How do I activate it again? Is there a reason why it has gone missing? Thanks in advance.


2018-05-19 15:52:01

Mandora

To automate via VBA for a particular workbook, add the following code in the ThisWorkbook module:

Private Sub Workbook_Activate()
Application.DisplayFormulaBar = False 'Formula Bar hidden when workbook is opened.
End Sub

Private Sub Workbook_Deactivate()
Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True 'Formula Bar unhidden when workbook is closed.
End Sub

To make available on an adhoc basis, add the following macro to a PERSONAL .XLSB module and call with a button on the Quick Access Toolbar or assign to shortcut keys assignment.

Sub Toggle_FormulaBar()
If Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True Then
Application.DisplayFormulaBar = False
Else
Application.DisplayFormulaBar = True
End If
End Sub


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.