Calculate part of a formula

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By Neale Blackwood

Sometimes when creating a spreadsheet you need to see where errors are coming from. In longer formula this can be difficult. However one technique can make it easier. If you select part of a formula in the Formula Bar and press the F9 key Excel will replace that part of the formula with its result.

Warning Note: Excel changes the formula to include the result, so you need to press Esc to return the formula back to its proper form after using this method. You can also use Undo if you have pressed Enter.

When selecting part of the formula, you must ensure that the part selected can be calculated on its own, otherwise an error dialog is displayed. Selecting in the Formula Bar can be tricky with the mouse sometimes, but you can hold down the Shift key and use your right and left arrows buttons to select.

First published: CPA AUSTRALIA Website 2008