[Fixed] Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents

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This article illustrates how to fix if the excel formula bar is not showing cell contents. Formula bar in excel allows us to enter or copy formulas. Using the formula bar in excel is more convenient in the case of large formulas. But sometimes the formula bar may not show the cell contents. If you are facing such a problem, then have a quick look through the article. The following picture highlights the purpose of this article.

[Fixed] Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents


Formula Bar Is Not Showing Cell Contents in Excel: 2 Possible Fixes

Here I will explain 2 possible solutions for the Excel formula bar not showing cell contents. So, let’s start.


1. Fix Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents with Format Cells

Imagine cell A1 in your dataset has some contents but the formula bar is not showing the contents.

  • This is probably because the worksheet or the workbook is protected with hidden cell contents. To fix the problem, you need to unprotect the sheet first. You can easily do that from the Review tab. You may need to enter a password though if the worksheet is protected with a password.

  • Then press CTRL+1 to open the Format Cells window. Uncheck Hidden from the Protection tab. Next click on the OK button as shown in the following picture.

Fix Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents with Format Cells

  • After that, you will see that the cell contents are visible in the formula bar as shown below. Now the cell contents won’t be hidden from the formula bar anymore even if you protect the worksheet.

Read More: How to Hide Cell Contents in Excel Formula Bar


2. Fix Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents with Keyboard Shortcut

If your worksheet is not protected, then there might be a line break in the formula. It shifts the cell contents down making it invisible due to the narrow height of the formula bar.

  • To understand the problem, place your cursor at the beginning of the formula bar as shown below. Then press ALT+Enter. This will create a line break. Then press Enter again.

  • Now it seems that the cell contents are gone. Tough such is not the case in reality.

  • Press CTRL+SHIFT+U while cell A1 is selected. This will expand the formula bar making the cell contents visible again.

Fix Excel Formula Bar Not Showing Cell Contents with Keyboard Shortcut

  • You can also use the downward arrow at the upper-right corner of the formula bar to do that.

  • Alternatively, you can drag and expand the formula bar too.

Read More: [Fixed]: Formula Bar Shows Different Value Than Cell in Excel


How to Hide/Unhide the Formula Bar in Excel

If you need more room for your excel worksheet, you can hide the formula bar.

  • Now check Formula Bar to return to the original view.

  • You can also do that from the Excel Options window. Select File >> Options or press ALT+F+T. Then search for the Display options in the Advanced tab. Then, check or uncheck Show Formula Bar. After that, hit the OK button.

Hide/Unhide the Formula Bar in Excel


Things to Remember

  • If you are using two or more monitors, then you need to bring your spreadsheet to the primary monitor. This may fix your problem.
  • Try to hide the formula bar and then unhide it. See if it fixes the problem.
  • Sometimes restarting the workbook solves such a problem too.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from the download button below.


Conclusion

Now you know how to fix it if the Excel formula bar is not showing cell contents. Please let us know if this article has helped you to solve your problem. You can use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions.


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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Md. Shamim Reza, a marine engineer with expertise in Excel and a fervent interest in VBA programming, sees programming as a time-saving tool for data manipulation, file handling, and internet interaction. His diverse skill set encompasses Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He holds a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and has transitioned into a content developer role, generating technical content focused on Excel and VBA. Beyond his professional pursuits,... Read Full Bio

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