Where did my numbers go?

Office Watch explains what can happen with Show Formulas in Excel and the simple fix. A slip of the fingers can make all your numbers disappear!

An Office Watch reader wrote in a panic, her vital worksheet had gone crazy showing only formulas instead of numbers!

She was the victim of a misplaced keystroke which invoked a handy, but little known Excel feature … Show Formulas.

Show Formulas will display the Excel formula in each cell. It’s a quick way to see what’s happening in a worksheet and compare neighboring cells.

The long way to show formulas is via Tools | Options | View | Formulas (Excel 2003) or Excel Options | Advanced | Display options for this worksheet | Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results (Excel 2007).

The quick way is the shortcut Ctrl + `

That last character is a gravé – you should find it left of the 1 key on the top left of your keyboard.

The shortcut is a toggle – press it again to switch back to standard number display.