FIX: Excel Formula not Showing Results

This article discusses the probable causes of such a problem. It also explains how to resolve the ‘Excel formula not displaying result’ bug.

Disable Show Formulas

Open any Excel file.

On the top-most part of MS Excel, click on Formula.

Click Show Formulas to disable it.

Cell Format Set to Text

Another reason why just formula displays in Excel is because the cell type is text.

That is, everything entered in that cell will be considered as plain text.

If so, shift to General or another format.

To get Excel to detect the format change, click inside the formula bar or press F2.

Change Calculation Options from ‘Manual’ to ‘Automatic’

Click on the File tab and select Options.

Choose Formulas.

Change the Calculation options to Automatic.

Click OK and restart your MS Excel.

Enter Numbers without any Formatting

No decimal separator or currency symbol (e.g. $) is allowed in the formula.

To refer to an absolute cell in an Excel calculation, use commas to separate function parameters.

The built-in functionalities of most of these special characters should be avoided.

Type Formula in the Right Format

How to tell Excel your text is a formula? If you don’t structure the formula correctly, Excel treats it as plain text and doesn’t conduct any computations. So, while entering a formula, take in mind:

Equal sign: Every Excel formula should begin with an equal symbol (=). If you don’t, Excel will treat your formula as text.

No space before equal sign: No spaces before equal sign. A single gap may be undetectable to us, yet it violates the Excel formula writing guideline.

Match all parentheses in a formula: Excel function arguments are in parentheses. Complex instances may need extra parentheses. Unpaired/closed parenthesis may prevent Excel from evaluating the input calculation.

Formula wrapped in quotes: Make sure your formula isn’t included in quotations. In Excel, quotations are used to represent text, not formulas. So your formula is untested.

Nesting limit: If you use nested IF loops in Excel, remember the following rules:

Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 allows up to 64 nested functions.

Excel 2003 and lower versions only allow up to 7 nested functions.


Commerce major. My training enabled me to fully use the various Microsoft Applications while also allowing to work around problems. I spent my high school years working as a campus writer and researcher, as I get older, I want to broaden my horizons and live life to the fullest.

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