It happens sometimes you send Excel files to others and they made some changes to formulas. Or, sometimes you simply don’t want to show the formula to others.
Hiding a formula is a simple way to do this so that others can’t able to see which formula you have used and how they get calculated.
Now the question is, how can we hide the formula in a cell in Excel?
But before we do that let’s be clear on this point that there are two ways to see a formula from a cell, first, by editing a cell, and second, from the formula bar.
Is there any way you can use to prevent both things? Yes, it’s there. In Excel, there is a simple way for this, and today, I’d like to share with you this simple trick.
Step 1: Un-Protect Worksheet
At this point when you click on a cell, it shows you the entire formula in the formula bar.
- First of all, you need to make sure that your worksheet is unprotected.
- For this, go to the review tab and protect the group.
- If you find an “Unprotect Worksheet” button there, that means your worksheet is protected and you need to unprotect it.
- Click on that button to unprotect it.
If you have the “Protect Sheet” button there that means your worksheet is unprotected. In that case, skip the above steps and start from here.
Step 2: Activate the Hide Formula Option
- Now, select the cell or range of cells, or select all the non-contiguous cells where you want to hide formulas.
- After that, right-click and select the format cells option.
- From the format cells option, go to the Protection tab.
- In the protection tab, you have two checkboxes to mark, the first is locked and the second is hidden.
- Mark both of them and click OK.
These options which you have checked solve both of the problems which we have discussed above.
The locked option restricts the editing of a cell and the hidden option hides a formula from the formula bar. Now the final step is to protect the worksheet.
Step 3: Protect Worksheet
- Right-click on the worksheet tab and then click on “Protect Sheet”.
- Here you need to enter a password. To enter a password (Twice).
- And in the end, click OK.
Now all the cells which you had selected got a formula hidden from the formula bar.
If you send this file to someone they will not be able to see the formula or edit it unless this worksheet is unprotected.
How Do I Find Hidden Formulas?
Once you protect a file using the above steps even you can’t see the formula until you unprotect the worksheet. But if you just want to find them from a protected worksheet where they are, you can use the “Go To Special” option.
- Go to Home Tab -> Editing -> Find & Select -> Go to Special.
- Select the “Formulas” option and it all four sub-option (Numbers, Text, Logical, Errors) and click OK.
- Once you click OK, Excel will select all the cells from the worksheet where you have formulas.
Hide a Formula without Protecting a Worksheet: I’m sure you have this thought in your mind how can I hide a formula without protecting a worksheet? I’m afraid there is no other method for this. You need to go this way. The only possible thing which I know is to create a macro code that runs at the opening of the workbook and hides the formula bar. But, again this is not a permanent solution.
This option not only helps you to hide formulas but also helps if you have any crucial calculations which you want to hide from others.
Until someone has the password, formulas are hidden and safe. I hope this tip will help you to manage your worksheets.
Have you ever tried to hide a formula before? Please share your views with me in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you. And make sure to share this tip with your friends.