How to Hide Formulas in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Home
  • / How to Hide Formulas in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Excel is a powerful tool professionals and individuals use for organizing data, performing calculations, and creating complex formulas. However, there are instances when you may not want to reveal the underlying formulas to others, whether it’s to protect sensitive information or simply to maintain a clean and polished appearance.

Understanding how to hide formulas effectively can be invaluable in these situations, allowing you to present your data without disclosing the intricate calculations behind it. In this blog post, we will delve into the step-by-step guide to conceal your formulas in Excel, providing you with a quick and easy solution.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this step-by-step guide will equip you with the necessary knowledge to master the art of hiding formulas in Excel and take your spreadsheet skills to the next level. So let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of safeguarding your formulas while maintaining the integrity and professionalism of your Excel workbooks.

Understanding Formula Visibility in Excel

Excel offers users two ways to access formulas:

  • Double-clicking on a cell lets the user enter edit mode, revealing the formula.
  • Selecting a cell displays the formula in the formula bar located at the top of the spreadsheet.

To protect sensitive data and maintain confidentiality, it is essential to hide formulas. By doing so, not only can you prevent users from editing cells, but you can also keep formulas hidden from the formula bar.

Hiding Formulas in Excel

Let’s explore the step-by-step process of hiding formulas in a specific column, in our example, we have chosen the Column D:

Formula that you need to hide

Select the Cells with Formulas:

Choose the cells in Column D that contain the formulas you wish to hide.

Select the cells from which you want to hide the formulas

Access the Format Cells Dialog Box:

Begin by navigating to the ‘Home’ tab in the Excel ribbon.

Click the Home tab

Then, locate the ‘Number’ group and click on the dialog box launcher, represented by a small tilted arrow icon at the bottom right of the group.

Click on the dialog box launcher

Open the ‘Format Cells’ Dialog Box:

The ‘Format Cells’ dialog box will open. Now, proceed to click on the ‘Protection’ tab within the dialog box.

Click on the Protection tab

Enable the Hidden Option:

Within the ‘Protection’ tab, check the box for ‘Hidden’ to activate this option.

Check the hidden option

Apply the Changes:

To save the changes you’ve made and close the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box, click on the ‘OK’ button.

Protect the Worksheet:

Transition to the ‘Review’ tab in the Excel ribbon.

Click the Review tab

Then, navigate to the ‘Protect’ group and select the ‘Protect Sheet’ option.

Click on Protect Sheet option

Set a Password (Optional):

In the ‘Protection’ dialog box that appears, you have the option to enter a password, which adds an extra layer of security to your worksheet. If you prefer not to use a password, you can leave this field blank.

Enter the password in the Protect Sheet dialog box

Confirm the Protection:

Click ‘OK’ to implement the protection and secure the worksheet.

By following these steps, you can effectively hide formulas in your Excel worksheet. When a cell with a value is clicked, the value will be visible in the formula bar. However, when a cell with a formula is clicked, the formula itself will not be displayed in the formula bar.

Formula hidden in the formula bar

Enhanced Security Measures

While the above method provides a basic level of protection, it’s important to note that tech-savvy users can find ways to bypass Excel’s built-in protection. Simple online searches can yield multiple methods to break through the protection applied to your worksheet.

For enhanced security, particularly when working with sensitive data, consider adding a password to your protected worksheet. This additional measure ensures that only authorized users with the password can access and view the hidden formulas.

By implementing these measures and prioritizing data security, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access and maintain the confidentiality of your Excel workbooks. Remember to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to safeguard your valuable information.


By following the instructions provided, you can confidently apply these methods in your own Excel projects. Remember to experiment and explore different approaches to find the most suitable one for your specific requirements.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to balance the need for hiding formulas with the necessity of maintaining transparency and documentation. Always ensure that your spreadsheets remain understandable and accessible to those who need to analyze or review them. By striking the right balance between confidentiality and clarity, you can create Excel workbooks that are both secure and user-friendly.

Write your comment Here