Why my Excel formula is not activating?

So here I was testing some formulas to use for my Excel worksheet. I keyed in a single Vlookup formula using a function argument.

Function argument
The formula result was clearly right there. But when I click OK, some weird stuff just happens.

The cell just haves the formula only. It doesn't give me the value, just the formula string. I didn't even use the ' in front of it.

What is going on here? How is this even possible?
Hans J.HauAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Ryan ChongBusiness Systems Analyst , ex-Senior Application EngineerCommented:
in your formula bar, try to type with Enter key press.

also make sure the cell formatting (Number Format) of that cell is not set as Text ?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Hans J.HauAuthor Commented:
Do you mean the cell with the formula or the reference cell?
Try that in the formula cell.
Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

Also make sure you haven't turned on 'show formulae'.

Hans J.HauAuthor Commented:
Show formula? I can do that? How?  Also I don't think that's the cause because I got other formulas working just fine in the exact same sheet.
If others are not showing as formulae then that won't be the issue.

Check formatting of the cell / reset it to say, general, then edit the formula and renter it (F2 then Enter).

Ryan ChongBusiness Systems Analyst , ex-Senior Application EngineerCommented:
>>Do you mean the cell with the formula or the reference cell?

the cell with the formula
Mike in ITIT System AdministratorCommented:
This is a common error that occurs in Excel. I've not a version that did not do this. It's a pain, but can be fixed.
  1. right click cell
  2. select Format Cells
  3. Choose General
  4. hit F2
  5. remove the "=" from the beginning of the formula
  6. hit "Enter"
  7. hit F2
  8. replace the "="
  9. hit enter
This should allow the formula to show the results in the cell instead of the Formula. You have to do this to the cell that has the Formula in it.
Ryan ChongBusiness Systems Analyst , ex-Senior Application EngineerCommented:
in case you still can't resolve it, try to upload your workbook here if necessary for verification
Hans J.HauAuthor Commented:
Sorry for late response. Thanks to Ryan I got the formula back now. Thanks.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Excel

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.