**Please Note: **
This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Dealing with Long Formulas.

Anyone who has been using Excel for any length of time knows that some formulas can get quite long. Excel handles them—as long as they are constructed correctly—but they can be a bear for humans to understand. Even after you develop your own formulas, you may have trouble understanding them weeks or months later.

One way to make formulas a bit easier to understand is to use **Alt+Enter** in the middle of the formula to "format" how it appears on the screen. Consider, for instance, the following long formula:

=+IF($A2=0,0,IF($B2<4264,0,IF(AND($B2>=4264,$B2<=4895), (-22.31*$C2/365),IF(AND($B2>=4895,$B2<=32760),($B2*0.093- 476.89)*$C2/365,IF($B2>32760,($B2*0.128-1623.49)*$C2/365)))))

This formula could also be written in the following manner, with **Alt+Enter** being pressed at the end of each line in the formula:

=+IF($A1=0,0, IF($B1<4264,0, IF(AND($B1>=4264,$B1<=4895),(-22.31*$C1/365), IF(AND($B1>=4895,$B1<=32760),($B1*0.093-476.89)*$C1/365, IF($B1>32760,($B1*0.128-1623.49)*$C1/365)))))

Now, the broken-up formula appears on five lines, even though it all appears in a single cell. The broken-up formula works just as if it were all on one line.

In addition, if you copy the complete broken-up formula from the Formula bar and paste it into a worksheet, each line in the formula is pasted into a different cell, making it easy to test each part. This is much quicker than copying and pasting parts of the original formula.

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training.
This tip (11251) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: **Dealing with Long Formulas**.

**Program Successfully in Excel!** John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out *Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA* today!

When you add a named range to a worksheet, you can specify if you want that named range to apply to the workbook or only to ...

Discover MoreWant to use a formula to check if there is an error in your formula? (Sounds confusing, but it's not that bad.) You'll love ...

Discover MoreDo you ever have a need to return just a few digits out of a number? This tip shows different formulas you can use to return ...

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

2015-04-01 11:20:53

2015-04-01 10:49:13

Gary Lundblad

That is great Chuck!

Thank you!

Gary

2015-03-31 12:33:07

Dave O

2015-03-31 11:45:56

Chuck Trese

These two (numeric) formulas give identical results:

=SUM(B12:B15)

=SUM(B12:B15) +N("explanation text here")

Also, these two (text) formulas give identical results:

=B3&B4&B5&B6

=B3&B4&B5&B6 &T(N("explanation text here"))

2015-03-31 11:38:26

Chuck Trese

For formulas that return text, you can use &T(N("explanation text"))

2015-03-31 11:10:30

Gary Lundblad

Thank you!

Gary

2015-03-31 10:10:11

bmultack

2015-03-31 09:05:38

Jen T

2015-03-31 08:16:45

2015-03-31 07:30:06

John H

2015-03-31 07:20:59

CStripling

2015-03-31 07:12:50

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.

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

Copyright © 2017 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments