Excel Tip: How to Make Formulas “Invisible”

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This question came up after I’d taught a session on protecting specific parts of a worksheet.

A student asked: I have quite a few complex functions in my workbooks, and I’d rather not have people try to edit them. Is there a way to protect my functions?

Answer: One option is to protect the cells that contain your functions and formulas.

The other option is to hide your functions so that others are not able to see them. Out of sight, out of mind.

The process for hiding your formulas and functions is quite simple.

1. Select the cells that contain the formulas or functions.

To select all of the cells that contain your formulas, click CTRL G. This opens the Go-To box.

Excel Goto Box

Click the Special button.

Put a check-mark next to Formulas, then click OK. When you return to your spreadsheet, you’ll notice all the cells containing formulas are highlighted.

Excel GoTo Special Formulas

2. Right-click and choose Format Cells.

3. Click the Protection tab in the Format Cells Dialog box.

4. Check the Hidden box, which will make your formulas invisible.

5. Click OK.

That’s it. If you want to go the extra step of protecting the sheet or cells, follow the instructions in this blog post.


About the Author

Jackie Kiadii and her team of subject matter expert (SME) trainers provide Microsoft software training that delivers measurable results – increasing productivity, reducing inefficiency, and improving the bottom line. Topics include: Project, Access, Excel, Excel VBA, PowerPoint. Upcoming Excel courses are on our calendar, click here.

Need onsite group training? Call 770.498.7333 or email us. Our courses can be customized to your needs. Jackie has provided software training for employees of The Coca-Cola Company, Emory University, Novelis, and more. This training is available for groups of 4 or more students.

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