**The FORMULATEXT function** is an Excel function first introduced in **Excel 2013** and later versions of Excel. **The FORMULATEXT function** allows users to select any cell containing a formula and return it as a text string in another cell. Therefore, it’s easy to use **the Excel FORMULATEXT function**. It’s also useful if users want to analyze the formulas in their worksheet alongside their results.

**Table of Contents**hide

**Download Working File**

Download the sample Excel file to practice with.

**Excel FORMULATEXT Function: Syntax and Arguments**

**Function Objective**

To return the used formula as a string. The function takes only one argument.

**Syntax**

`FORMULATEXT(reference)`

**Arguments Explanation**

Argument | Required/Optional | Explanation |
---|---|---|

reference |
Required |
Cell containing formula |

**Return Parameter**

Return the used formula in the reference cell as a string or text.

**Supported Versions**

For **Microsoft Excel 2013** and onward versions.

**An Example of Using the FORMULATEXT Function**

Users need to use **the FORMULATEXT function** if they want to display the used formula from particular cell references.

Let’s say we have the half-yearly sales of the three salespeople on a worksheet. But we use a formula to find the highest sales among them.

- Use the following formula in cell
**E22**.

`=FORMULATEXT(E21)`

- Pressing
**ENTER**results in displaying the formula used in the**E21**.

**Alternative to FORMULATEXT to Display Showing All Formulas**

As an alternative to **the FORMULATEXT function**, users can use the** Show Formula** option in the **Formulas** tab or press **CTRL+’** to on or off the formula instead of the formula outcomes.

- Move to the
**Formulas** - Click on
**Show Formulas**(in the**Formula Auditing**section).

- Excel displays all the formulas within the active worksheet, as depicted in the below screenshot.

**Using the F2 Key to Show a Specific Formula in a Cell**

Sometimes it’s quite annoying to use another function to view inserted formulas. Other than the **Show Formulas** option, users can use the **F2** function key from the keyboard to view the used formula within a cell.

- Place your cursor in a cell, as shown in the below picture.

- Now, press the
**F2**key on the keyboard to view the inserted formula.

- Pressing the
**ESC**key restores the cell back to the**Ready**mode and out of**Edit**.

**Conclusion**

This article discusses the syntax and usage of** the Excel FORMULATEXT function**. Also, alternatives to** the FORMULATEXT function** are discussed. The use of this function can be a good way of annotating your worksheet with the formulas used while learning for an Excel test or finance exam, as well as a method of analyzing the formulas in the workbook alongside their actual results.

Do check out our awesome website,** ExcelDemy**, to find interesting articles on Excel.

Hi Taryn,

I am curious, why do you always use ctrl-enter instead of just enter?

Regards

Hi Henk thanks for the comment, the reason I use CTRL-ENTER is because after pressing CTRL-ENTER one stays in the cell that contains the actual formula, whereas pressing ENTER takes you to one cell below the actual formula, TAB of course takes one to one cell right of the cell containing the formula. So its a preference on my part basically :-). It would actually be interesting to see what the preferences of general Excel users are – and if its related to anything else – maybe ambidextrous people for example, prefer for the most part using the TAB key. So yes one can use ENTER or TAB instead of CTRL-ENTER but I like staying in the cell that contains the actual formula.:-)

I too had been wondering about your use of Ctrl-Enter – Thanks for the explanation!! I’ll have to give it a go.

Hi Mike thanks for the comment :-). Yes definitely and see which one of the three you prefer using.

I am wondering now if there is some other variable that is related to whether one prefers using TAB, ENTER or CTRL-ENTER in Excel. I am right-handed so I am wondering if it (my preference) maybe is related to that, or something else entirely.

It would also be interesting to see the results of a poll of Excel users and which of the three turned out to be the most popular.