HomeExcel FunctionsExcel FORMULATEXT Function (Example + Sample File)


The Excel FORMULATEXT Function is listed under Microsoft Excel's Lookup Functions category. It returns the formula from the referred cell. And if there’s no formula in the referred cell, a value, or a blank, it will return a #N/A.

How to use it

To learn how to use the FORMULATEXT function in Excel, you need to understand its syntax and arguments:




  • reference: The cell reference from which you want formula as a text.


  • If you refer to another workbook that workbook should be open, otherwise it will not show the formula.
  • If you refer to a range more than a single cell, it will return formula from the upper-left cell of the given range.
  • It will return an “#N/A” error value if the cell you are using as a reference does not contain any formula, has a formula with more than 8192 characters, a cell is protected, or an external workbook is not opened.
  • If you refer two cells in circular reference it will return results from both.


To master FORMULATEXT function we need to try it out in an example, so make sure to check out the below one:

In the below example, we have used formula text with different types of references.

When you refer to a cell that doesn’t have any formula, it will return “#N/A” error value.

Related functions

This tutorial is the part of our Excel Functions with Examples (Function Guide) and below are some of the related functions:

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.