How to Print Formulas in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

Printing formulas in Excel 2010 is a straightforward process. You start by activating the ‘Show Formulas’ mode, then navigate to the ‘Print’ options, adjust settings if necessary, and finally print the sheet with formulas visible. This quick summary will get you printing your formulas in no time.

After completing the action, the printed sheet will display all the formulas you’ve used in your Excel workbook instead of the calculated values. This is particularly useful for reviewing or auditing your work.


Excel 2010 is a powerhouse for crunching numbers and presenting data in a meaningful way. But sometimes, the magic isn’t in the results themselves, but in the formulas that conjure them up. Whether you’re a student double-checking your homework, a business analyst auditing financial reports, or just someone who loves to keep things transparent, knowing how to print formulas in Excel 2010 is a skill worth having.

Why is this important? Well, imagine you’ve created an intricate budget spreadsheet. It’s filled with complex calculations and financial forecasts. A colleague or a supervisor asks to see the underlying formulas that led to these projections. Instead of manually writing them down or showing them on-screen one by one, you want a printed copy with all the formulas laid bare. That’s where printing formulas in Excel 2010 comes into play.

How to Print Formulas in Excel 2010

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s understand what we’ll achieve here. This tutorial will guide you through printing an entire Excel worksheet with visible formulas instead of the values they calculate. This can be a handy reference when you need to review or share the logic behind your data.

Step 1: Activate ‘Show Formulas’

First things first, you need to reveal those hidden gems – the formulas.

Once you activate the ‘Show Formulas’ mode, each cell in your Excel sheet will display the formula it contains, instead of the resulting value. You can do this by pressing `Ctrl + “ (the key above the Tab key on your keyboard).

Step 2: Set up Print Options

Next up, let’s get those formulas ready for the spotlight.

Head over to the ‘File’ tab, click on ‘Print’, and ensure that your print settings are correct. Under ‘Settings’, select ‘Print Active Sheet’. Check the print preview to ensure that the formulas are displayed.

Step 3: Print Your Document

Finally, it’s showtime for your formulas.

Click the ‘Print’ button to send your document to the printer. Your sheet should print with all the formulas visible, just as they appeared in the print preview.


Benefit Explanation
Accuracy Printing formulas can help ensure accuracy by providing a hard copy reference for double-checking calculations.
Transparency Having a printed record of the formulas used in a spreadsheet promotes transparency, which is essential in collaborative environments.
Ease of Review When auditing or reviewing work, printed formulas make it simpler to follow the logic and flow of calculations.


Drawback Explanation
Ink Consumption Printing formulas can use up more ink or toner than printing values, especially for extensive sheets with numerous formulas.
Paper Usage If environmental concerns are a priority, printing additional pages just for formulas may not be the best option.
Complexity For beginners, understanding printed formulas can be complex and intimidating without proper Excel knowledge.

Additional Information

While printing formulas in Excel 2010 is quite simple, there are a few additional tips that could make your life even easier. For instance, if you have a large spreadsheet, consider using the ‘Print Selection’ option to print only the formulas you need instead of the entire sheet. Also, remember that mode such as ‘Page Layout’ can affect how your formulas will appear on the printed page.

It’s worth mentioning that in addition to printing, you can also save your Excel file with formulas as a PDF. This could be a digital alternative for sharing or archiving your formulas. Finally, ensure that your printer settings are calibrated for the best quality print, so that your formulas are legible and clear.


  1. Activate ‘Show Formulas’ by pressing `Ctrl + “.
  2. Set up print options and ensure formulas are visible in the preview.
  3. Print the document with formulas displayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my Excel sheet is too large to print on one page?

You can adjust the scaling options in the print settings to fit your sheet onto one page. However, be mindful that this may make the formulas harder to read.

Can I print formulas for a selected range of cells?

Yes, simply highlight the cells you wish to print, go to ‘File’ > ‘Print’, and choose ‘Print Selection’.

Will the printed formulas include cell references?

Yes, cell references will be displayed in the printed formulas, just as they appear in the worksheet.

Can I print the formulas in color?

Yes, if your printer supports color printing, the formulas will be printed in the same color as they are displayed on your Excel worksheet.

What if I only want to print the formulas without any cell values?

You can format the cells to have a font color matching the background, making the values invisible, leaving only the formulas visible when printed.


Printing formulas in Excel 2010 is a fantastic way to showcase the behind-the-scenes action of your data-driven decisions. Whether for transparency, auditing, or simply for a clear reference, this skill adds another layer to your Excel prowess. Remember, the key to success with Excel is not just in the numbers, but also in the logic that drives them. Keep this guide handy, practice often, and you’ll be printing formulas like a pro in no time.

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