Excel Formula Bar (Show & Hide, Collapse & Expand)

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!

In this article, you will learn about how to show and hide, expand and collapse, enter and edit data, insert functions, and create connections with shapes in the Excel Formula Bar.

The Formula Bar can be hidden in Excel, and it is done to protect some accidental changes to the worksheet. Moreover, it reduces distraction.

You can collapse it to get more screen space and expand it for editing the bigger formula and viewing cell contents with ease.

Moreover, you may use it to insert functions, it is convenient because it offers more tooltips for this task. You can connect data with shapes to display the bottom line of a dataset differently.

Formula Bar in Excel

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the workbook used for the demonstration from the link below and practice yourself as you go through.

How to Show or Hide Formula Bar in Excel

In this section, we’ll describe how to show or hide formula bar in Excel.

1. Apply View Tab Option to Show Formula Bar

Select Formula Bar from the View tab’s Show group, and it will show the Formula Bar. You need to deselect this to hide it.

Showing the Excel Formula Bar using the View tab

2. Use Keyboard Shortcut to Hide Formula Bar

You can press the shortcut keys Alt, W, V, and F one after another to hide the Formula Bar. You may press this key combination again to show the Formula Bar.

Hiding the Formula Bar using Keyboard Shortcut

How to Expand or Collapse Formula Bar in Excel

There are three ways to do this –

  • Move your mouse cursor between the Name Box and the Formula Bar and the mouse pointer icon will change. Then, drag it to the left to expand the Formula Bar horizontally or to the right to collapse it.
  • Move your cursor under the Formula Bar and the pointer icon will change. Then, drag vertically, either downward to expand or upward to contract the Formula Bar.
  • There is a toggle button on the right side of the Formula Bar. When you click this button, the Formula Bar expands, and when you click it again, it collapses. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+U to do this.

expand or collapse Excel formula bar

How to Enter and Edit Data in Formula Bar in Excel

  • Select a cell >> Type in the Formula Bar.
  • Then, click on the green checkmark to accept it. Or, you can click on the red cross to cancel it.
  • Thus, you have entered data into a cell from the formula bar. To edit this, click on the cell, then the Formula Bar, and start editing.

enter and edit data using Excel formula bar

Read More: How to Show and Hide Formula Bar in Excel

How to Insert a Function Using Excel Formula Bar

  • Select the output cell and press the Insert Function button.
  • Next, select a function and press OK.

insert function dialog box

  • Then, specify the arguments and press OK.

function arguments dialog box

  • This is the final output.

final output of insert function option of the formula bar

How to Connect Shapes from Formula Bar in Excel

  • Click on a Shape.
  • Press “=” in the Formula Bar and select another cell. This will link the Shape with the data.

Linking with a shape using the Excel Formula Bar

Read More: Hide Cell Contents in Formula Bar

Things to Remember

  • Always use the equal sign (=) before entering any formula in the Excel Formula Bar.
  • In Excel 365, you can hover over any part of the formula to show the calculated value from that portion. In earlier Excel versions, you need to select a part of the formula and press F9 to do this.
  • Use the absolute cell referencing when you don’t want the formula to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I change the font size in the Formula Bar?

Yes, you can. To do this, go to File > Options > Accessibility, then change the Font size, under the Document display options section. Then, you will need to restart Excel to apply this change.

2. What are the usable keyboard shortcuts in the Formula Bar?

You can use the following shortcuts in the Formula Bar

  • F2: Enable edit mode.
  • F4: toggle between relative, absolute, and hybrid cell referencing.
  • Ctrl+A: Select all contents.
  • Ctrl+C: Cut contents.
  • Ctrl+V: Paste contents.
  • Ctrl+X: Cut contents.
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo.
  • Ctrl+Y: Redo.
  • Ctrl+Home: Move the cursor to the far left side.
  • Ctrl+End: Move the cursor to the far right side.
  • Ctrl+Right Arrow: Move the cursor by one word to the right side.
  • Ctrl+Left Arrow: Move the cursor by one word to the Left side.
  • Shift+F3: Open the Insert Function dialog box.
  • Ctrl+Shift+U: Expand or Collapse the Formula Bar.


In this article, we have shown how to show, hide, expand, collapse, enter and edit data, and create connections with shapes in the Excel Formula Bar. Moreover, if you have any questions or suggestions about this, please feel free to comment below, and the ExcelDemy team will try to solve the issue as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and keep excelling!

Excel Formula Bar: Knowledge Hub

<< Go Back to Excel PartsLearn Excel

What is ExcelDemy?

ExcelDemy - Learn Excel & Get Excel Solutions Center provides online Excel training , Excel consultancy services , free Excel tutorials, free support , and free Excel Templates for Excel professionals and businesses. Feel free to contact us with your Excel problems.


Rafiul Haq
Rafiul Haq

Rafiul Haq worked as an Excel and VBA Content Developer in Exceldemy for over two years and published almost 200 articles for the website. He is passionate about exploring new aspects of Excel and VBA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering (MPE) from the Islamic University of Technology. Rafiul furthered his education by obtaining an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the University of Dhaka. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF