To show the text of one formula with another formula, you can use the FORMULATEXT function. In the example shown, the formula in D5, copied down, is:


Generic formula



The FORMULATEXT is fully automatic. When given the reference of a cell that contains a formula, it will return the entire formula as text. In the example as shown, the formula:


returns the text "=IF(B5>=70,"Pass","Fail")".

Dealing with errors

The FORMULATEXT function will return the #N/A error when a cell does not contain a formula. To trap this error and display nothing when a cell does not contain a formula, you can use the IFERROR function like this:


Alternately, you can use ISFORMULA and IF like this:


Checking for specific text

To check a formula for a specific text, you can use the ISNUMBER and SEARCH functions. In the formula below, we are checking a formula in A1 to see if it contains "apple":


The result is either TRUE or FALSE. See this page for a full explanation.

Dave Bruns Profile Picture

AuthorMicrosoft Most Valuable Professional Award

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.