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Jet Reports

Unveiling the Power of the "FORMULATEXT" Function in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool that offers a wide range of functions to enhance data analysis and manipulation. One such function is FORMULATEXT, which often remains hidden in the depths of spreadsheets. Have you ever come across an Excel spreadsheet filled with complex formulas, but struggled to understand how they work? Hidden formulas can be a source of frustration and confusion, making it difficult to troubleshoot errors or make updates.

FORMULATEXT is a useful function that allows you to unveil the mysteries of hidden formulas and gain a deeper understanding of how calculations are performed in Excel. In this article, we will explore the power of FORMULATEXT and its applications in spreadsheet management, troubleshooting, and formula manipulation. Join us as we uncover the secrets of FORMULATEXT and learn how it can revolutionize your Excel experience

What can FORMULATEXT be used to track :

  1. Understanding complex formulas: By using FORMULATEXT, you can easily reveal the formulas in otherwise hidden cells. This allows you to comprehend the logic and structure behind complex calculations, making it easier to understand and modify them if necessary.

  2. Error troubleshooting: When encountering errors in your spreadsheet, FORMULATEXT can be a valuable tool for pinpointing the source of the issue. By revealing the formulas in error-prone cells, you can identify any discrepancies or mistakes and take corrective action.

  3. Formula auditing: FORMULATEXT enables you to perform thorough formula audits by extracting and analyzing formulas across multiple cells or ranges. This can be particularly useful when reviewing large datasets or when working on collaborative projects.

  4. Updating and modifying formulas: With FORMULATEXT, you can quickly identify cells containing specific formulas, allowing for targeted updates or modifications. Whether you need to add new formulas, replace existing ones, or make adjustments, FORMULATEXT helps streamline the process and ensures accuracy.

  5. Documentation and sharing: The ability to extract formulas using FORMULATEXT makes it easier to document and share your spreadsheet models. You can capture and preserve the underlying formulas, ensuring that the logic and calculations are well-documented for future reference or when collaborating with others.

How does it work?

let’s say we want to use the FORMULATEXT with one of our Financial reports, the Cashflow report, and we want to show the formula used in each cell. in this case, we want to be able to identify where we use the Jet report formula to the Excel formula.


Step 1 Add a title for the new column.

Leaving just a column as a space, we give the new column that will contain the formulas a title as shown below.

Step 2 Adding the formula

we will now use FORMULATEXT to show the formula used in each row on column H. To do that, go to cell J10, click the sign “=“ and fill in as shown.

when the filling-in is done, click enter and the formula will display as shown below.

Step 3 Adding text to the formula

Let’s modify the formula by adding text to it. e.g., we want to say something like the formula used in this cell is …

Go back to cell J10 and hit the equal to sign “=“ again. then fill in as shown below.

When you click ok or enter, you should have it as shown below.

We can now drag to copy the formula throughout the Excel work.

Step 4 Specifying formula for each cell.

We might want to make the report a little bit better by saying “The formula used for each cell is“! Though we can just type the formula in each cell instead of dragging to copy the formula to other cells, this will take longer.

Here is an example of a modified formula you can use so that when you drag the formulas, the cell referencing changes also.

we want to show this now… “The formula used in cell H10 is“, “The formula used in cell H11 is“ etc … To achieve this, fill in Cell K10 as shown below.

When you click enter, you should be able to see the formula as shown below.

When you drag your formula down, the cell will change automatically.


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