Formulas displaying as text

Copper Contributor

Can anyone tell me why my worksheet allows me to type in formulas one minute but then suddenly starts to display the formulas as text and won't do the calculations?

5 Replies


There are a few possible reasons why Excel might be displaying formulas as text instead of calculating them:

  1. Number formatting: Make sure that the cells containing your formulas are formatted as numbers, not as text. If the cell is formatted as text, Excel will treat any formula entered into that cell as text, and will not perform the calculation. To change the cell format, select the cell(s), right-click, and choose "Format Cells". In the "Number" tab, select "General" or another number format.
  2. Calculation options: Check that Excel is set to automatically calculate formulas. To do this, go to the "Formulas" tab in the ribbon, and click on "Calculation Options". Make sure that "Automatic" is selected.
  3. Show Formulas mode: Check if you have accidentally turned on the "Show Formulas" mode. This mode displays the formula in each cell instead of the calculated result. You can toggle this mode on and off by pressing "Ctrl + ` (grave accent)".
  4. Errors in the formula: If there is an error in your formula, Excel will not be able to calculate it. Check your formula for typos, missing or incorrect arguments, or invalid references.
  5. Calculation settings: If the calculation settings are set to "Manual", Excel will not calculate formulas automatically, and will display them as text. To change this, go to the "Formulas" tab in the ribbon, and click on "Calculation Options". Select "Automatic".

If none of these solutions work, try restarting Excel or your computer. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with your Excel installation, and you may need to repair or reinstall Excel.



Hope it helps you!

@NikolinoDE Thank you the third of those options sounds the most likely in this case, though it think it seems to be toggling itself on and off???

@tbrien1985 I have been experiencing exactly this and it's driving me mad! I have tried all the noted resolutions but still happening and even shutdown and rebooted laptop but this issue won't go away!



easy steps



Job is done


I was frustrated yesteday. Finally, I recreated a new column, and then followed instructions. And results showed. I then deleted the original columns