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I recently had a problem with Excel 2007 where the cell contents did not show.  I could see the contents in Print Preview and in the formula bar.

Research via goggle showed me that it was likely to be caused by Wrapped Text on Merged Cells.  I didn't have Merged cells, but I did have wrapped text.  I was able to see the contents again if I

  • used the ToolBar and did Clear - All formats. 

This is nice, but I need it formatted.  It is a standard worksheet used by the entire organization.

More oddities

  • Other users could open and view the contents on their laptops
  • I could see the contents when I didn't have my laptop docked
  • It worked for months and then just quit working one day.

The fix (thanks Jennifer!)

  • Changing the font size, changing the monitor resolution did NOT fix the problem
  • Remove the laptop from the dock, boot the machine and delete the dock profile, redock the machine and let a new profile be created.  Problem cleared.

Not sure what was in the profile causing the problem, but I hope it doesn't come back.

 

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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We just experienced this with Excel 2008 on Leopard - both fully patched. Quite scary when it first happens, though. <POOF> Half of the contents of a spreadsheet appear gone.

It's repeatable now for us and appears to be a memory limit of some kind. The spreadsheet in question has quite a bit of color formatting but not much in the way of formulas and no macros. The data will 'reappear' when 'select all' and then 'copy to clipboard' are performed.

Interestingly enough there is very little in common between the computing environments other than Excel, and even that's pretty slim since it's demonstrated in both PC and Mac versions.

Our fix was to 'Clear All' formatting and then re-apply as needed BUT only in the cell ranges it was required and no longer let the formatting extend beyond the boundary of the sheet's data.
Left by Eric Ellcessor on Nov 11, 2009 5:25 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Me and my colleague just installed Office 2007 and are experiencing the same thing. We haven't experienced this on our home computers, just our Lenovo T61 think pads.
Left by David on Apr 30, 2010 1:35 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Try this.
Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled. ;)
Left by blink on Mar 17, 2011 3:05 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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To display the cell contents, select View on the task bar and check Formula Bar.
Left by David Andovic on Aug 24, 2011 12:48 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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blink's answer fixed it for me.

I was working in Excel 2010 with a file originated with Excel 97-2003. I have used it for many months without issue, then POOF, nothing visible.

The suggestion to "Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled." did the trick. THANK YOU!!!
Left by Roger Cooke on Nov 05, 2012 1:29 PM

# Content
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I am pointing a cell to another cell in the same workbook (typing = in the cell then going to the reference cell and clicking on that cell). The result should be the content of the reference cell. What shows is the link (='spreadsheet'!cell). Cells with this link already set work fine. It just will not show the content (even when I hit view/arrange all/tiled).
Left by Robbie on Dec 09, 2012 5:49 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Blink's suggestion saved the day for me, too. Thank you!
Left by Sara on Jan 21, 2013 2:01 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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hi
I was wondering how Excel can be simultaneously printed part of the form.
tnx
Left by amin on Feb 24, 2013 3:22 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Blink, you are awesome, thanks for saving the day. I have no clue where you would even consider troubleshooting with that option, I know I wouldn't have lol.
Left by blink#1 on May 07, 2013 7:25 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I have the same problem. I downloaded a spreadsheet from COGNOS into Excel 2013 and the same is happening. The spreadsheet is completely white but I do see the data in the formula bar and print preview. I saved the spreadsheet as an Excel workbook but I still cannot see anything. The previous suggestions haven't worked. What do you recommend?
Left by Kari on May 24, 2013 4:55 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I have two monitors on desktop PC and have the same issue on Excel 2010 Windows 7. I disabled & unplugged one monitor still didn't fix it! Also I tried a number of suggestions from google group (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!topic/microsoft.public.excel.misc/EtMUoiMA5ro), no luck so far.
Left by Howard on Jun 02, 2013 2:18 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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2 years later, and Blink's suggestion still works! Thought I had to re-install office.
Left by Grateful on Sep 09, 2013 7:57 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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thanks, it did work for me, i went in the view tab, i select arrange all and go to titled, bingo the data appeared. thanks very much, coz i oz stucked
Left by Awilly Mshanga on Oct 06, 2013 7:58 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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god.. thanks blink
Left by daniel on Oct 19, 2013 10:35 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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We experienced this problem to today.
Not sure if this solution is found anywhere - but this is what we figured out.

Drag header down - one line show.
Highlight entire sheet and then reset row height.
Left by KMorris on Jan 07, 2014 8:06 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had to take the reformat route. I highlighted the entire document and went to the format menu. cells. font. chose a font and size and it all showed up. Now to rearrange the size of the headers of the original doc.

wonder if it has anything to do with the original doc being an old style and my new version reading as xlsx messed with it...
Left by Cory on Jan 10, 2014 2:48 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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select the cell and just press ctrl+B
hidden info will appear :)
Left by elishka on Jan 15, 2014 10:59 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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simply copy the sheet/sheets into a new book and save it
Left by Les on Feb 03, 2014 9:51 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Blink's answer worked for me--View, Arrange All, Tiled
Thanks a lot
Left by Shane on May 20, 2014 8:01 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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None of the above options for me has worked. I see a line with an arrow pointing at the comment where the cell is, but the comment box does not show. Please help.
Left by Ed on Jun 24, 2014 3:09 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thank YOU friends ...

The suggestion to "Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled." did the trick.

THANK YOU!!!
Left by Bhavani on Aug 11, 2014 10:30 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had the same problem...

I solved it by selecting cells and changing the number format on Home tab
Left by klemen on Sep 11, 2014 6:52 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Solved by selecting all cells in the spreadsheet and selecting a new font.
Left by DW on Oct 12, 2014 3:34 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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update display drivers. worked for me
Left by Randi on Nov 23, 2014 7:55 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Please check your video driver, try to reinstall it. it helped me out.
Left by anginson on Nov 24, 2014 3:02 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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i had teh same probelm only DW suggestion help. Thanks!
Left by Cat on Dec 03, 2014 1:57 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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this is only Font Problem.You must change Font.cell fonts is not known for excel.i suggest select all cells and change font to tahoma. every cell that its font changed successfully will show up.
Left by Amin on Dec 25, 2014 1:04 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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select the cell, go select format on the cells ribbon, from the dropdown menu select format cells, select the font tab and set your colour to automatic.
Left by geeceem on Jan 18, 2015 9:50 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Hi... i have Excel 2013 and i had same problem, i just put black color font for each cell that wasnt visible. It was on automatic and always white (i dont know why).
Left by castelan on Jan 25, 2015 12:55 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had the same problem as everyone else, but sadly the View-Arrange All- Tiled solution didn't work for me. What did work as CTRL A to select all, then I clicked on wrap text twice. This solved the problem for me. Thanks to this forum for all they're ideas.
Left by Leanne on Feb 05, 2015 3:49 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had the same problem this morning. Quite a shock to not see any text. I tried the View-Arrange All-Tiled but that didn't work for me. What worked was highlight all and change the font. Oringinally it was Arial Narrow. Changed to Arial and everything appeared. Of course there's a bit of tweaking the margins and sizing but glad to see text!
Left by Ben on Feb 19, 2015 3:06 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Go to the cell,click on Increase Indent option under Home>Alignment. If you have many cells,select the entire column and do the same.It will Work.Else change the alignments.
Left by vishu on Mar 04, 2015 7:19 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Geeceem solution worked
Left by Robert on Mar 27, 2015 5:39 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Found issue in Office 2013 related to Upload Center file cache being corrupted. Folder is located at (for windows 7 & 8):
C:\Users\%userprofile%\appdata\local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OfficeFileCache
Close excel, rename OfficeFileCache.old, open excel file that was having the issue (should open fine), and delete the old folder when the new folder structure is created by the app.
Left by Neal on Apr 10, 2015 9:11 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Blink suggestion did not work for me, but elishka's did. Thanks so very much

select the cell and just press ctrl+B
hidden info will appear :)
Left by Sandra on Apr 14, 2015 8:19 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Some times it is font problem the font which you are using get corrupted so it doesn't work just change the font and then it will work perfectly, it work with on my laptop
Left by PRATIK REDIJ on May 14, 2015 12:04 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Changing the default font size under options worked for me. I only tried this because in view full screen mode I could see all contents. Based on the above and today's experience it must be an occasional glitch.
Left by CB on Jun 07, 2015 1:45 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Try this.
Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled. ;)

it is working
Thanks a lot.
Left by bala on Jun 24, 2015 6:21 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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In my case, it was because of the many decimal places, I solved it with rounding.
Eg; =if(round(A1,5)=0,0,A1)
Left by QQQ on Jul 01, 2015 10:05 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thanks, it really worked and saved me unnecessary stress on my work.
Left by wale on Jul 24, 2015 12:58 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Castelan's answer worked for me. For some reason the the text had changed colour and wasn't visible. Back to black and all is well.
Left by Dave on Aug 10, 2015 4:54 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Castelan's answer worked for me. For some reason the the text had changed colour and wasn't visible. Back to black and all is well.
Only 2 cells on 2 different work sheets weren't visible....until now.
Left by Dave on Aug 10, 2015 4:57 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Castelan's 1/25/2015 answer worked for me too. Data was in white font for some reason -- changed it to black and now it shows.
Left by Rob on Sep 15, 2015 6:54 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thank you elishka! Command-b on my Mac did the trick!
Left by Robin on Oct 05, 2015 10:46 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Try to reinstall what font you are using on your MS Excel or Word first ;) This works on me. :D
Left by Roberth on Oct 18, 2015 1:12 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thanks, Blink ;)
Left by Venus on Dec 15, 2015 1:41 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Shut down the computer. Restart. Excel now works fine.
Left by Les on Dec 17, 2015 11:21 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thanks Blink, saved me from going to hospital in shock.
Left by Abhay on Feb 25, 2016 1:42 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I spent hours trying to solve this problem. Finally a solution.

1. Go to Home tab
2. Select "Conditional Formatting" associated with "Styles"
3 Select "Conditional formatting", then select "Clear Rules".

At this point I cannot tell what all has been cleared. Before, I applied, the formula bar did not show any formulas or any other content just the text. Good Luck
Left by Trinity on Mar 01, 2016 7:58 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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The suggestion to "Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled." worked. Thanks heaps. So helpful
Left by moi on Apr 13, 2016 11:53 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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The suggestion to "Go to view and then click on arrange all. Click OK for tiled." did the trick for me too!!!!

Thank you!!!
Left by Maikie on Apr 26, 2016 3:15 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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CHANGE THE FONT!
My cells were blank but I could see the content in the formula bar... I had a corrupt or conflicting font and when I changed the font on all those cells/rows they appeared back.
Left by Elizabeth on May 15, 2016 3:01 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I've tried everything above, but nothing works.. any other suggestions? It works perfect for row 1-76, it's just the added 4 rows where nothing is showing up. It is not doing it at all columns either just a selected few.

Any tips will be welcome

thanks
Left by Ingrid on May 17, 2016 4:17 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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None of the above worked for me either so I did some random trials ... and hey ho found the solution (at least for me); try to highlight everything hidden and change the format of these cells for General.
Left by Z on May 18, 2016 9:58 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I tried all the suggestions......nothing worked!!! Then i clicked on the centre alignment icon and my text appeared!!!
Left by ANDRE VAN RENSBURG on Jul 06, 2016 7:35 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Same problem. Changing fonts appears to do the trick, after I tried "VIEW / ARRANGE ALL / TILED" did not seem to do anything on its own.

After an intervention, try closing then re-opening spreadsheet if you don't see text immediately.

Oy!

Left by Ron Schwartz on Aug 24, 2016 12:41 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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You guys can try using =SUBSTITUTE(cell, "text to hide", " ") but the formula will appear in the cell; however, the text will be hidden
Left by Matt on Sep 05, 2016 4:27 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had/have the same problem.

Two monitors (laptop + external). I can see the text on my laptop monitor but NOT on my external monitor. It is clearly a driver problem. My drivers are all up to date, though.

Since this is a new issue for me, I assume it came from a driver update and hopefully will be fixed...
Left by d ware on Dec 17, 2016 9:40 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thank you "blink"!!. You saved my life. It worked on excell 2010.
Left by Toni on Feb 14, 2017 11:29 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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THIS WORKED - click upper left corner to "select all". Then find & select, find, find what (leave blank) and click find all. The hidden sheet appears!
Left by Njeans on Mar 06, 2017 7:05 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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GGEEEZZZZ. Tried most of above with no success. Then finally on HOME, TEXT pull down, click on GENERAL. This was apparently set to XXXXXXX option which just shows text as XXXX despite trying most of above.
Left by Pat on Mar 29, 2017 2:34 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Castelan's solution worked for me. The font text color was set as white so changing it back to black worked.
Left by diane on Mar 29, 2017 5:50 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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So simple and helpful simply highlight the invisible document and change the font and u will get back the view...Thanks @Elizabeth it really worked for me on this trick.
Left by Matiya Dee on Apr 20, 2017 9:41 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Similar issue with Excel 2013 and a specific document after my laptop was re-imaged. Tried clearing all formatting etc but no luck. Eventually got the text visible by highlighting cells and changing the font type.
Left by awol on May 10, 2017 7:33 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Examine the cell and delete any blank spaces and/or lines above and beneath the content not visible.
Left by HW on May 11, 2017 4:02 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - only when I go to print preview
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I have Excel 2013. All my cell content are not visible - but it shows up in the print preview. I never had any problem before today. It happend after I added a footer and when I closed the footer all the data disappeared. I did undo plus all the things that everyone on this site has suggested.
Does anyone else have any new suggestions?
Left by Gladis on May 20, 2017 7:50 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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copy something to those cells and delete,then re-type what you want.it will be visible.
Left by Jinesh on Jul 07, 2017 10:58 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Almost all solutions were tested without success.
Just select and copy all failed sheet content.
Add a new sheet on the current workbook.
Select A1 cell and paste everything in steps.
Paste special - values
Paste special - formulas
Paste special - formats
Paste special - comments
Paste special - validation

Voi lá
Left by Romano on Aug 01, 2017 12:36 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I did 'View-Unfreeze Panes' & bingo it did the trick. :-)
Left by Sharad on Aug 01, 2017 3:20 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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This is totally bizarre. I have this problem on-and-off in only one spreadsheet - I am using Excel for Mac with a current O365 subscription (meaning I should have the latest version of Excel). Text does not appear in some cells - but you can see that the contents are there when you look in the formula bar. As I work in the spreadsheet, the contents seems to randomly become visible.

Stranger still - after the invisible text decided to be visible, I changed the content in the cell. The old content continued to be displayed while the new content was see in the formula bar. About 45 seconds later, the new content suddenly appeared in the correct place.

I have no idea what to do about this - my machine is fully patched and up to date...
Left by Jeff Steele on Aug 06, 2017 7:04 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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hold Ctrl button and scroll with mouse
Left by Sourav on Sep 07, 2017 2:00 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Thanks for various solutions presented here. Sadly none worked out, but they made me look into all options available on Excel 2016 and by God's grace the Solution came through- First select cell /cells where you cannot view the entire content, then go to Home --- Cells--- Format --(then within the drop list) select AutoFit Row height and click. Now you will be able to see all the content.Praise God, now I can continue my work peacefully.
Left by Sharmaine on Oct 01, 2017 9:09 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Got the problem when open a .xls (97-2003), fix it by change all the fonts (Ctrl A then change the font).
Left by Surya on Oct 03, 2017 3:21 PM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I had similar issue, I changed my font from Arial Narrow to Arial and all was visible.
Left by D on Nov 28, 2017 1:35 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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I found the cell content had a few hundred trailing spaces and was centre-justified so it didn't show up. Left justifying worked.
Left by Jim Lingerfelt on Jan 23, 2018 8:30 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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If everything else fails, try this. Go to the original entry which you used to copy and also as part of your formula. Check to confirm that there are no commas where a dot should be. A comma can create havoc if misplaced.
Left by CNP on Mar 13, 2018 4:53 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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After trying all these suggestions, I would like to share how I got my 2013 Excel issue fixed - when I saw the font was showing Arial Narrow but it was "invisible" in the cells, I looked in the windows/systems/fonts folder and noticed they were missing from there. So I copied and pasted the Arial Narrow fonts from another PC that did have them and after a reboot, it showed all the text in all the cells without having to change anything.
Left by Sandra Maringer on Apr 25, 2018 5:08 AM

# re: Excel cell contents not visible - but show in formula bar and print preview
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Control All
For the font color select black NOT automatic.
That fixed it for me.
Then I went back to Automatic and it stayed fixed???
What the world??
Left by Mary Ferguson on May 31, 2018 1:49 AM

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