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Excel won't let you save a formula that isn't working. In this video, we'll look at a simple way to save an unfinished formula so you don't lose your work.


Sometimes you have a formula that isn't finished and Excel won't let you save the formula. In this video, we'll look at a simple way to save an unfinished formula so that you don't lose your work.

Sometimes you might be working on a formula that's broken or unfinished and Excel won't let you enter it as is.

In this example, I'm working with an INDEX MATCH formula that has a problem. Each time I try to enter the formula, Excel complains.

This isn't such a big problem if you have plenty of time, but maybe you need to stop work and save the worksheet for another day.

In that case, there's an easy way to temporarily change the formula into text so that you can enter it and save the workbook.

To do that, just put a single quote or apostrophe in front of the equal sign. This causes Excel to stop trying to evaluate the formula and instead treat it as text.

Later, when you have more time, you can simply reverse the process. Just remove the apostrophe, and continue working with the formula. Once you fix the problem and press Enter, the formula will work normally.

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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.