Show or Hide Formulas in Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, you can show formulas with these simple tips

Screenshot/Microsoft Excel

Cells that contain formulas in Google Sheets display the answers to all formulas and functions located in the worksheet, not the formula or function itself.

In large worksheets, finding the cells that contain formulas or functions can be difficult.

Show Formulas in Google Sheets Using Shortcut Keys

A screenshot of displaying formulas in Google Sheets

Remove the guesswork when you need to show formulas in Google Sheets by using a simple shortcut key combination to show all formulas in Google Sheets:

Ctrl+`

The keyboard key shown above is called the grave accent key. On most standard keyboards, the grave accent key is located to the left of the number 1 key. It looks like a backward apostrophe.

This key combination works as a toggle in Google Sheets, which means you press the same key combination again to hide the formulas when you are finished viewing them.

To Showing All Formulas in the Sheet

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard
  2. Press and release the grave accent key on the keyboard without releasing the Ctrl key
  3. Release the Ctrl key

The worksheet will display all formulas in the cells that contain them, rather than the formula results.

Hiding All Formulas in a Sheet

To show the results again for those cells, press the Ctrl+` combination once more.

When you show formulas on your Google sheet, it doesn't change the worksheet contents, only the way they are displayed. Then it's easier to find cells containing formulas. It also allows you to quickly read through the formulas to check for errors.

Enabling Show Formulas

A screenshot of the menu item to enable show formulas

In addition to the shortcut key above, you can also enable or disable displaying cell formulas in the entire sheet by using the Google Sheets menu.

  • Click on View in the menu.
  • Select Show formulas

This is a good alternative if you prefer using the Google Sheets menu rather than shortcut keys.

Show Individual Cell Formulas

A screenshot of how to show individual cell formulas

Rather than viewing all the formulas in the entire spreadsheet, you can view formulas one at a time in Google Sheets with one of the following two techniques.

  • Left double-click the cell containing the formula with the mouse
  • Left click once on the cell containing the formula and then press the F9 key on the keyboard. This will pop-up a comment showing the current formula result

Both of these actions give you insight into the current results of a formula you're entering.

Left double-clicking on the cell also highlights the source cells, so you can see all data in your spreadsheet that affects the formula results.

The F9 key allows you to see results without switching out of cell edit mode.

While entering formulas into cells in Google Sheets, you can also press the F1 key to see an expanded view of formula help so you can better understand how a particular formula works.

Hide Formulas in Google Sheets Using Protected Sheets and Ranges

A screenshot of restricting cell editing in Google Sheets

Another option for hiding formulas in Google Sheets is to use worksheet protection, which allows you to prevent other users from editing formulas in locked cells.

The following steps will let you protect an entire range of cells so that no one can edit the formulas they contain.

  1. Select the range of cells containing the formulas you want to hide.
  2. Click on Data in the menu, and select Protected sheets and ranges.
  3. In the pop-up window, select Set permissions.
  4. In the dialog box, click on Restrict who can edit this range.
  5. Remove any users who you don't want editing cell formulas.

This process works for protecting either individual cells, a range of cells, or the entire sheet.