How to Show or Hide Formula Bar in Excel

To type in a function or while writing a formula in Excel we can either use the formula bar or type directly within the cell.

Typically Excel users type the formula directly in the active cell as it’s easier. But for writing and editing complex formulas, the Excel formula bar is better.

A formula bar is an input bar immediately below the ribbon but above the work area in the Excel workbook window as shown below:

formula bar in Excel
Excel Fact: Although the name box or address bar is also housed on the left of the formula bar, but for simplicity's sake, both the name box and the formula bar are considered as one.

Among other benefits, the Excel formula bar also helps to have a quick peek at the formula by simply selecting the cell. This is not possible within the cell unless edit mode is enabled either by pressing the F2 key or by double-clicking the left mouse button.

But what if your Excel workbook does not have the formula bar? Let’s learn how to show or hide the Excel formula bar easily.

Show or Hide Excel Formula Bar

If you cannot find the formula bar in your Excel interface, chances are that it has been disabled. And we can show it or re-enable it very easily with either of the following methods:

Enable/Disable formula bar within Excel View Tab

With the Excel window open, go to view tab > under show group > click formula Bar check box to enable the formula bar. Or if you like to disable or hide the formula bar simply uncheck the box.

Use Excel shortcut to show or hide formula bar

Within the Excel window press the following key combination to show or hide the Excel formula bar:

ALT + W + V + F

On pressing the ALT key, Excel shows tooltips to help you press the specific key. So you don’t have to worry about ALT key shortcuts if you can’t remember them.

Change Excel Options

After opening Excel > click File tab > click Options > click Advanced > scroll down to Display category > uncheck Show formula bar.

Why Hiding the formula bar is good

While most of the Excel users, myself included, like to keep the formula bar, some prefer to hide it and even minimize the top Excel ribbon.

As one can write a formula in the cell directly, making the formula bar invisible will get us a larger work area with additional rows. Also, we have one thing less to cause inadvertent edits.

In this tutorial, we learn three ways to easily show or hide the formula bar in Excel.