Formula bar

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as a formula box, the formula bar is a section in Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications. It shows the contents of the current cell and allows you to create and view formulas. The two pictures below are examples of what the formula bar looks like in Microsoft Excel. To start creating a formula, click the mouse cursor in the formula bar and enter an equal sign (=). In both of the examples below, we're using the =SUM, which is telling Excel to add each of the cells.

Formula bar

Formula bar in Microsoft Excel

Where is the formula bar located in Microsoft Excel?

In spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel, the formula bar is located directly above the spreadsheet, as labeled in the picture below.

Excel with formula bar

Above, the formula bar has a cell content of "=SUM(D2:D5)" that adds values in rows 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the D column. In this spreadsheet, the result is $162.00. Cell D5 is empty, and treated as zero.

Formula, Name box, Spreadsheet terms