Excel Tip: Change Formula to Actual Value

Is your formula your private property? Are there times when you provide spreadsheets for others to view but you don't want to display the underlying calculations?

Once you've created a worksheet and performed all the calculations, you can switch the calculations to the calculated values so only the final numbers appear, both in the work area of spreadsheet and in the formula bar at the top of the spreadsheet.

Change the contents of a cell or group of adjacent cells from formula to value by following these steps:

1. Click on cell or highlight the group of adjacent cells you want to change.

2. Click the Copy button on the toolbar, or choose Edit, Copy from the menu.

3. Choose Edit, Paste Special from the menu.

4. In the dialog box that appears, click to check the Values box, then click OK.

5. Press Enter or ESC to turn off the Copy marquee.

The cell contents will appear to be the same as before. However, if you click on a cell to which this operation was performed, you will see that the formula is gone in the formula bar and only the cell value remains.

Keep in mind that when you perform this operation you remove the calculations entirely from the worksheet. Only the Undo feature will bring back a formula and once the file has been closed, the formula is gone forever. You may want to preserve your formula by saving a separate copy of the file with the formula intact.

View more helpful tips!

You may like these other stories...

Earlier this week I presented the Chart Edition of AccountingWEB’s High Impact Excel webinar series. One of the many topics I covered was the Sparklines feature, which was first introduced in Excel 2010. Several...
On January 30, I led a free, one-hour webinar, High Impact Excel: Pivot Table Edition. If you missed the presentation, it’s too late to get CPE credit, but you can watch an on-demand recording. After the webinar, I...
By David Ringstrom, CPA In Part 1 of this series I showed how to use a custom number format to conditionally display decimal places. Although the technique is simple, the downside is it may not work in every situation....

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.