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# FORMULATEXT function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the FORMULATEXT function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

## Description

Returns a formula as a string.

## Syntax

FORMULATEXT(reference)

The FORMULATEXT function syntax has the following arguments.

**Reference**Required. A reference to a cell or range of cells.

## Remarks

- The FORMULATEXT function returns what is displayed in the formula bar if you select the referenced cell.
- The Reference argument can be to another worksheet or workbook.
- If the Reference argument is to another workbook that is not open, FORMULATEXT returns the #N/A error value.
- If the Reference argument is to an entire row or column, or to a range or defined name containing more than one cell, FORMULATEXT returns the value in the upper leftmost cell of the row, column, or range.
- In the following cases, FORMULATEXT returns the #N/A error value:
- The cell used as the Reference argument does not contain a formula.
- The formula in the cell is longer than 8192 characters.
- The formula can't be displayed in the worksheet; for example, due to worksheet protection.
- An external workbook that contains the formula is not open in Excel.
- Invalid data types used as inputs will produce a #VALUE! error value.
- Entering a reference to the cell in which you are entering the function as the argument won't result in a circular reference warning. FORMULATEXT will successfully return the formula as text in the cell.

## Example

The workbook below shows examples of this function. Inspect them, change existing formulas, or enter your own formulas to learn how the function works.

To work more in-depth with the example data in Excel, download the embedded workbook to your computer, and then open it in Excel.

Applies to:

Excel 2013, Excel Online