Easily Expand or Collapse the Formula Bar in Excel

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 27, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 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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Displaying the Formula Bar

If the Formula Bar is not displayed:

  1. Click the View tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Formula Bar check box.

Microsoft Excel View tab on the Ribbon to display formula bar.

Alternatively, you can display the Formula Bar using Excel Options:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Select Options or Excel Options.
  3. In the left pane, click Advanced.
  4. In the right pane, select (or check) Show formula bar in the Display area.
  5. Click OK.

Microsoft Excel Options dialog to display formula bar.

Expanding or collapsing the Formula Bar using a mouse

To expand the Formula Bar using a mouse:

  1. Position the mouse pointer near the bottom of the Formula Bar until an up and down arrow appears.
  2. 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:

Microsoft Excel workbook with expanded Formula Bar.

Expanding or collapsing the Formula Bar using a keyboard shortcut

To expand or collapse the Formula Bar using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + U.

Inserting 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:

  1. Click in the Formula Bar where you want to insert a line break.
  2. 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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Summary
How to Expand the Formula Bar in Excel (2 Ways)
Article Name
How to Expand the Formula Bar in Excel (2 Ways)
Description
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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Avantix Learning

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