Easily Expand or Collapse the Formula Bar in Excel
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated September 14, 2023
Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 365 (Windows)
In Microsoft Excel, the Formula Bar appears below the Ribbon by default. When you enter data or a formula, it appears in the Formula Bar. If you are writing longer formulas, it can be helpful to expand the Formula Bar using your mouse or a keyboard shortcut.
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Display the Formula Bar
To display the Formula Bar if it is not displayed:
- Click the View tab in the Ribbon.
- Select the Formula Bar check box.
Alternatively, you can display the Formula Bar using Excel Options:
- Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
- Select Options or Excel Options.
- In the left pane, click Advanced.
- In the right pane, select (or check) Show formula bar in the Display area.
- Click OK.
Expand or collapse the Formula Bar using a mouse
To expand the Formula Bar using a mouse:
- Position the mouse pointer near the bottom of the Formula Bar until an up and down arrow appears.
- Hold down the left mouse button and drag down until the bar is the size you want. Drag up to return it to the original size.
Below is an expanded Formula Bar:
Expand or collapse the Formula Bar using a keyboard shortcut
To expand or collapse the Formula Bar using a keyboard shortcut:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + U.
Insert a line break in a formula
In longer formulas, you may also want to add line breaks to make the formula easier to read.
To add a line break in a formula in the expanded Formula Bar:
- Click in the Formula Bar where you want to insert a line break.
- Press Alt + Enter.
Expanding the Formula Bar is a great way to work with longer formulas in Excel.
This article was first published on August 6, 2016 and has been updated for clarity and content.
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