Excel: Long Formulas in the Formula Bar

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Problem: In legacy versions of Excel a long formula would spill out of the formula bar, covering part of the grid. This is particularly annoying in row 1 because the formula covers the value from the formula.

Strategy: You can expand or collapse the formula bar. If you choose to expand the formula bar (with Ctrl+Shift+U), the grid actually shifts downward so that you can see the formula bar and the cell in the grid.

Here the formula bar is collapsed. You see only the first line of the formula.

  1. Only one part of the formula appears.

    If you press Ctrl+Shift+U or click the down arrow icon at the right edge of the formula bar, Excel will shift the grid down and show more lines of the formula.

  2. Excel lowers the grid.

    Gotcha: With a particularly long formula, the formula might not fit in the expanded formula bar. Grab the bar at the bottom edge of the formula bar to make the formula bar even taller.