**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**.

**Professional Development Guidance!** Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out *Professional Excel Development* today!

Need to find out how many times a certain letter appears in a text string? It's easy to do if you rely on the SUBSTITUTE ...

Discover MoreWhen you construct a formula and click on a cell in a different workbook, an absolute reference to that cell is placed in ...

Discover MoreEnter a formula (starting with an equal sign) and you may be surprised if Excel doesn’t calculate the formula. Here's a ...

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 © 2019 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments