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Formula Display in Excel

Formula Display in Excel

Formula Display in Excel

Does anyone now of any plug-in or vba application to display an excel formula in a more traditional long hand notation?

RE: Formula Display in Excel

Not sure what you mean.  When you change the Options|View|Formulas, aren't you seeing the formulas in long hand?

The only thing that would make it more readable is to use defined names in place of cell addressess:



RE: Formula Display in Excel

Do you mean to substitute cell names with the actual numbers? I bet it is possible to write a vba function to convert any formula, but for many tasks you can simply modify original formula in the following way: For example,
=A1^2+B1*C1 can be displayed as:

See the FAQs of this forum for other options.

Hope it helps!

RE: Formula Display in Excel

Just to Clarify...I was thinking of a way of taking the excel equation and displaying it as it would be written by hand. More like formulae written in MathCad, or how formulae are written in text books.

I'm sure I could write a vba module to do it, but I might be duplicating something that's already been done.

It would be useful for checking the more lengthy eng formulae.

RE: Formula Display in Excel

Hi all

There is a macro written which works miracles.Its an alternative to concatenate and actually changes the formula values when the input is changed.
I have just seen that one at a consultants office.
This macro is fantastic especially for cross checking purposes.

RE: Formula Display in Excel


Sounds promising. Is it possible to get a copy? Perhaps you could post the vba macro code...I was about start writing something myself but got side tracked with work!

RE: Formula Display in Excel

You can name your cells (Voltage1, R2, Mass1,ComputedAcceleration etc). I usually do it by putting the name immediately to the left of the cell and typing Insert-Name-Create command.  

If you line up all your inputs in a column and put all the labels in the column to the left, you can define all those names in one command (select the entire block in two columns).

Then when you enter a formula you can either type the name of the variable OR point to the cell as usual.  

Either way when you use Options|View|Formula you will see the formula in terms of the cell names.

Now my question, is there any convenient way to get a reasonable depiction of the formula AND the result? The only way I know is two separate printouts... one with formula's and one with results.  I'd like to see 'em both on my screen at the same time.

RE: Formula Display in Excel

If you're really meticulous about using named ranges, the cheesiest thing is to copy the calculation cells into another range and replace the "=" with "'=", which will turn the second set of calculations into text cells, thereby showing the formulas.

Actually, it will still work if there are absolute references; it's just that you might need to fix some of the references.  If you're using "$" references, then there should be nothing to fix.

The opposite thing will also work and might be a little bit simpler.  Copy the calculation cells and Paste Special as Values and then set display option to formulas.  This has the advantage of not needing to do anything other than change the display option, but obviously results in "dead" results that won't update with new inputs.


RE: Formula Display in Excel

Thanks IRStuff. I didn't think of that, but the paste-special-values will do just what I want.

I think that the next time I will create three columns.  Column 1 has all labels. Column 2 has all variables (either input or computed). Column 3 has that set of dead values. Periodically for an update I just have to repeat the cut and paste-special-values from entire column 2 into column 3.

RE: Formula Display in Excel

Correction to my first post on this thread.  Should be
"Either way when you use Options|View|Formula you will see the formula in terms of your cell labels (variable names)"

RE: Formula Display in Excel

MathLook for Excel of TK SOLVER displays formulas the best. They are two dimensional and dynamic, just like MathCad. Ofcourse, it's not free ($99). http://www.uts.com and look for MathLook for Excel.

RE: Formula Display in Excel

Thanks Yakpol,

Had a quick look and the Mathlook for Excel is exactly what I was after. Don't know about spending >2,000 US$ for what's already in most of the text books, but mathlook does seem a good buy for checking and scripting purposes...

RE: Formula Display in Excel

You can create a formula which will display the formula in another cell.  The format is identical to Options|View|Formulas, except by using this formula, you can now mix and match formula's and results on the same page (with live update, no copying to update).

Here's how you do it:

Type Alt+F11
Select  Insert - Module

Use ctrl-c and ctrl-v to cut-paste the following text into the module:

Function GetFormula(Cell)
   GetFormula = Cell.Formula
End Function

Then select File -  Close and Return

Now use the formula GetFormula(cellreferece) to display a formula.  Or if you have formula's in a column copy the GeFormula(cell-to-the-left) down the adjacent column.

I just learned this from

RE: Formula Display in Excel

I think that GetFormula is a great tool and very easy.

Once again, it gives you an easy tool to display both the formula and the value. If you change the formula everything updates automatically.

I have provided an example spreadsheet here:

You will have to trust me when I tell you I have inspected the file carefully and it has no harmful virus/macro.

All you have to do to make the function GetFormula available is:

From excel, Open up Visual Basic Editor (Tools/Macro/VBE).

Cut paste the following text into your Module1
Function GetFormula(Cell)
   GetFormula = Cell.Formula
End Function

Return to excel (File/Close-and-Return-to-Excel)

Use the function GetFormula(cell-reference) in your spreadsheet

That function will be available to any spreadsheet whenever a spreadsheet containing that definition is open.

RE: Formula Display in Excel


I found a website where you can download the MathLook For Excel for free fro 10 days after that the cost is only $99.00


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