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I am maintaining a list of database column names, notes, and their calculations in an Excel 2010 spreadsheet. The calculations are included so as to document how to derive the values for the various columns and not for calculations within the spreadsheet.

I have been entering the calculations into the cells simply as unformatted text like so:

100 - ((FiscalYearRegionConsumption - BaselineRegionConsumption) / (GoalRegionConsumption - BaselineRegionConsumption)) * 100

However, for long and/or complex calculations this could become rather unreadable. To improve readability and comprehension I would like to "pretty" print the calculation in an Excel cell. This would result in formatting that would like like this:

Pretty printed calculation

The only solution I have come up with is to:

  1. Write the calculation in another application such as Word
  2. Take a screenshot of said calculation
  3. Past the screenshot into Excel

The primary concern with this approach is maintenance. Should the calculation change or need correction I have to update two different sources of information.

Is there a better way included a formatted calculation into an Excel cell?

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I discovered a way to do exactly what I need.

  1. On the Insert tab click the Equation button
  2. Enter your equation into the new Equation Text Box
  3. Select the Equation Text Box if it is not currently selected
  4. On the Equation Tools | Design tab unselect Normal Text if it is selected
  5. On the Equation Tools | Design tab select Professional
  6. Right click on the Equation Text Box and choose Format Text Effects...
  7. Check Resize shape to fit text if it is not checked
  8. Uncheck Wrap text in shape if it is checked
  9. Click Close
  10. Align the Equation Text Box with the desired cell
  11. Resize the cell's row and column heights as necessary to contain the Equation Text Box

If your Equation Text Box does not move automatically when new columns or rows are inserted before or above its cell then you need to set additional properties.

  1. Right click on the Equation Text Box and choose Size and Properties...
  2. Select Properies
  3. Check Move but don't size with cells
  4. Click Close
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