# Documentation/Calc Functions/FORMULA

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## Function name:

FORMULA

## Category:

Information

## Summary:

Displays the formula in a referenced cell as a text string.

## Syntax:

FORMULA(**Reference**)

## Returns:

Returns a text string which reflects the formula in the referenced cell. This string should be identical to that displayed in the Formula bar when the referenced cell is selected.

## Arguments:

**Reference** is a reference to a cell containing a formula.

- If the referenced cell is empty, or does not contain a formula, then FORMULA reports a #N/A error.
- The FORMULA function does not propagate errors in the referenced cell. For example, if cell A1 contains the formula
`=SQRT(-4)`

, then Calc reports an invalid argument error (Err:502) in cell A1. However, if cell A2 contains the formula`=FORMULA(A1)`

then cell A2 will display the string "=SQRT(-4)" rather than the error value. - FORMULA does not generate an error if given a reference to the cell that it resides in. For example, the formula
`=FORMULA(A7)`

located in cell A7 simply returns the string "=FORMULA(A7)".

## Additional details:

- The FORMULA function is intended to aid understanding and debugging of spreadsheet documents by simplifying the display of formulas in other cells.
- FORMULA can be used in an array formula by using the key combination
*Ctrl*+*Shift*+*Enter*rather than just*Enter*. - FORMULA is a volatile function. This means that Calc will update the string returned by FORMULA when any cell is updated by selecting
*F9*, or on any input event. ▸ ▸ or pressing

## Examples:

Formula | Description | Returns |
---|---|---|

=FORMULA(A1) where cell A1 contains the formula `=1/0` |
Here the function returns a string representation of the formula in cell A1. It does not propagate the #DIV/0! error that is displayed in cell A1. | "=1/0" |

=FORMULA(D8) where cell D8 contains the formula `=SUM(1; 2; 3)` |
Here the function returns a string representation of the formula in cell D8. | "=SUM(1; 2; 3)" |

## Related LibreOffice functions:

## ODF standard:

## Equivalent Excel functions:

FORMULATEXT