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Check your formula with value preview tooltips in Excel 

Feature deep dive
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Hello, Microsoft 365 Insiders! I’m Steve Kraynak, a Product Manager on the Excel team. I’m excited to share that we’ve added tooltips to help you check your formulas directly in the formula bar or in the cell you’re editing. You can simply select part of the formula, and Excel will display a tooltip that contains the current value of the part you highlighted. 

Value preview 

A common trick to get the current value of part of a formula is to select that part, then press F9. Doing so replaces the selected part of the formula with its current value. So, you would likely only do this to check the value, and then you press ESC to avoid keeping it as a hard-coded value in your formula.  

Another approach is to use the Evaluate Formula dialog, which lets you check the current value of each part of your formula. We think tooltips are easier to use and less burdensome if you just want to focus on one part of the formula. 

How it works 

In any formula, just select the part you want to evaluate. For example, in a tooltip that shows the function syntax, click any of the function parameters to select it, and then notice the tooltip that appears and shows the current value of that parameter.  

Animation of the Value Preview feature


  • You can select references, functions, parameters within a function, or even the entire formula.  
  • If you’d like to turn off the tooltips, you can press CTRL+ALT+P toggle the feature on or off.

    • On Mac, this only works when you are not editing a cell.

    • On Windows, it can be toggled on/off anytime (if a tooltip is visible, pressing the shortcut will not immediately hide the tooltip, but it will switch the feature off so that subsequent selections won’t show the tooltip).

Scenarios to try 

  • In any formula that contains range or table references, select a reference and notice that the tooltip shows the value or values in the referenced cells. 
  • While editing a formula that has one or more functions, put your cursor inside the brackets of the function so that the syntax tooltip appears. Then, click one of the parameter names in the syntax to select that part of your formula. 

Tips and tricks 

  • If you select a part of the formula that can’t be evaluated, you won’t see a tooltip. For example, if you select only part of a reference or part of a parameter, no tooltip will be displayed. 
  • It’s possible to see a tooltip for part of the formula that doesn’t get calculated as part of the cell value. For example, if your formula is =101+201, you could select 1+20 and see a tooltip that shows 21, even though that part isn’t relevant when calculating the entire formula. 
  • You can move the tooltip if it’s covering something you need to see, or if you just want to locate it somewhere else. 


This feature is rolling out to Beta Channel users running: 

  • Windows: Version 2302 (Build 16116.20000) or later 
  • Mac: Version 16. 70 (Build 230116) or later 

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.   

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.   


As you use the new keyboard shortcut in Excel, please share your feedback and help us prioritize our work by click Help > Feedback and letting us know what you think. 

Do you have an idea to make Excel better? We’d love to hear about it. Go to the Excel forum in Microsoft Feedback to submit your idea or vote for other ideas. You can also click the Feedback button in Excel and choose the I have a suggestion button. 

Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensue its actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!