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.

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