How to Replace All Formulas with Values in Excel

In finance, being quick and right matters a lot, especially when using Excel. It’s very important for individuals who handle complex finances. It’s key to know how to swap formulas for values for making presentations or for keeping formulas secret. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to swap formulas for values, as well as share several tips and best practices when doing so.

Understanding the Difference Between Formulas and Values

When we talk about replacing formulas with values in Excel, it’s important to first grasp the basic concept behind them. Formulas in Excel are essentially equations that carry out calculations using the data found in specific cells.

For example, in a financial scenario, you can use a formula to determine the estimated future stock price of a company by taking into account its current price, dividend yield, and earnings per share. 

On the contrary, values represent the actual numerical or textual outcomes produced by these formulas. Understanding the difference between formulas and values is critical in financial analysis, as it enables you to showcase the end results without revealing the intricate computations that were performed.

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Dataset Overview

Let’s dive into a hands-on example to show you how to swap out formulas for actual values in your dataset. We’re providing a sample dataset that’s all about a fictional company’s stock info. It’s got stuff like stock prices, dividend yields, P/E ratios, earnings per share, and market caps.

Now, there’s a column called ‘Projected Price (USD)’ with a formula crunching numbers based on the current stock price, dividend yield, and earnings per share. Our mission is to replace the said formula with projected share price values.

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Replace All Formulas with Values

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Replacing All Formulas with Values in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here are different methods on how to replace all formulas with values in Excel:

Method 1: Using Copy and Paste Special

To replace formulas with values in Excel, a simple method is to use the Copy and Paste Special feature. Follow the steps below to do it:

Step 1: Select the range of cells containing the formulas you want to replace with values. In our example, we’ll select the ‘Projected Price (USD)‘ column.

Step 2: Copying the sele­cted range is simple. Pre­ss Ctrl + C, or right-click and select ‘Copy’.

Step 3: With range still selecte­d, right-click and choose ‘Paste Special’ from the me­nu.

Step 4: In the dialog box, select ‘Values’ and click ‘OK’.

Voila! Formulas in range­ are now replaced with value­s!

Method 2: Using the Keyboard Shortcut

Using keyboard shortcuts spe­eds up work. Excel provides a shortcut to re­place formulas with values. Here­’s how:

Step 1: Select the ce­lls with formulas needing replace­ment.

Step 2: Copy the range (Ctrl + C). 

Step 3: Next, quickly pre­ss Alt + E + S + V, Enter, which opens ‘Paste Special‘. Select ‘Value­s’ and confirm. The formulas now become value­s.

Applying the above keyboard shortcut saves time, especially whe­n you’re frequently replacing formulas with value­s in Excel.

Method 3: Using the ‘Go To Special’ Feature

Go To Special‘ in Excel lets you quickly pick cells by criteria, like those with formulas. Here’s how to swap formulas for values using the ‘Go To Special’ feature:

Step 1: Select the cells with formulas you want to change. We’ll choose them all.

Step 2: Hit Ctrl + G for the ‘Go To’ box.

Step 3: Click ‘Special’ for the ‘Go To Special’ box.

Step 4: Choose ‘Formulas’, and click ‘OK’. It selects cells with formulas in your selected range.

Step 5: With the cells selected, hit Ctrl + C to copy.

Step 6:  Hit Alt + E + S + V, then Enter to paste values over formulas.

The ‘Go To Special’ method helps when working with formulas and values and you want to swap just the formulas.

Method 4: Using a VBA Macro

Dealing with large datasets or needing to automate formula replacement in Excel? Consider using a VBA macro! VBA is a programming language within Excel that enables custom functions and task automation. Below is a guide on creating a VBA macro for formula replacement.

Step 1: Hit Alt + F11 to open up the VBA Editor.

Step 2: Double-click ‘ThisWorkbook’ in the left ‘Project’ pane.

Step 3: Paste the following VBA code in the code window:

Sub ReplaceFormulasWithValues()

    Selection.Copy

    Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues, Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks:=False, Transpose:=False

End Sub

 

Step 4: Close the VB Editor and go back to Excel. Save the file as a Macro-Enabled Worksheet (.xlsm).

Step 5: Select the cells with formulas to switch up.

Step 6: Hit ‘Alt + F8′. Choose ‘ReplaceFormulasWithValues’, and click ‘Run’.

The macro will replace formulas in the selected range with values automatically. To access it faster, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to the macro.

Download Template

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Replace All Formulas with Values

Try Macabacus for free to accelerate financial modeling in Excel.

Best Practices and Tips

When you are replacing formulas with values in Excel, it is important to remember a few key best practices and tips: 

  1. Always make a copy of your original file before replacing formulas with values. It will allow you to go back to the original formulas if necessary. 
  2. Verify your results after replacing formulas with values to confirm the integrity of the data. 
  3. Pay attention to any formulas that refer to the cells you are replacing. Replacing formulas with values could disrupt the relationships. 
  4. When utilizing the ‘Go To Special’ method, be sure to select the entire range that may contain formulas to avoid overlooking any. 
  5. Think about using VBA macros for repetitive tasks or when working with large datasets to save time and minimize the possibility of error.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Even pros can slip up when swapping out formulas for values. Here are a few to watch out for:

  1. Always back up your original file so you don’t lose formulas.
  2. Remember to check for broken links in your workbook. Look out for broken links or #REF! errors.
  3. Be careful when selecting cells to replace. Always double-check that you’ve picked the right cells.
  4. If the original data changes, replaced values won’t auto-update. Make sure to refresh values if the data changes.

Incorporating Macabacus in Your Workflow

Macabacus comes with several “sanitation” tools that allow you to clean up the files that you’re working on before sending them to your colleagues or clients outside your organization.

The Macabacus Prepare to Share tool lets you check workbook integrity, protect proprietary or personal information, and tidy up the formatting/appearance of your spreadsheets, among many things. One such operation is the ability to replace formulas with values, which is helpful if we just want to send the values through but not the underlying methodology used to arrive at the figures.

In the Prepare to Share dialog box, you can perform several operations at once, on either the original workbook or a copy of the active workbook (recommended). To learn more about Macabacus’ excellent tools, check out the video below:

Conclusion

Becoming proficient at substituting values for equations in Excel is extremely important for finance experts, especially in fields like investment banking, and for individuals who work with financial models and reports. The techniques outlined in this article can simplify your process, ensure precision in your data, and improve how your results are presented.

Whether you like using Copy and Paste Special, keyboard shortcuts, VBA macros, or the ‘Go To Special’ feature, it’s crucial to choose the approach that fits your requirements the most. Don’t forget to back up your work, double-check your findings, and be aware of any formula interdependencies. 

As you practice, you’ll get better at them, enabling you to concentrate on making informed financial choices using accurate and reliable information. Macabacus, a tool used by many finance experts and businesses globally, can assist you with its collection of helpful tools meant to improve efficiency in Microsoft Office. So, get your data ready, launch Excel, and begin enhancing your financial analysis abilities now!

Create Financial Models 10x Faster with Macabacus

Gain access to 100+ shortcuts, formula auditing visualizations, easy Excel-to-PowerPoint linking and productivity tools to help you accelerate financial modeling and presentations.

Start your Free Trial
 

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