Excel has a Text format that can be applied to cells. When a cell is formatted as Text, anything you type in the cell will appears in the cell. That may seem obvious, but it applies to numbers and formulas too. For instance, if you type a formula in a cell formatted as Text, you see the formula rather than the result.
To remedy this, change the format to General (or something else), go into Edit mode in that cell, then exit the cell. Changing the format alone won’t fix the problem, you have to re-enter the cell. The easiest way to do this is to press F2 then Enter. F2 to edit the cell and Enter to commit the changes, even though you didn’t make any changes. This causes Excel to reevaluate the cell and show the proper result.
Kathy, however, does it differently. Instead of F2/Enter, she uses Data – Text to Columns, which also causes Excel to reevaluate the cell contents and formatting. When I asked her why, she said that while F2/Enter may be faster for one or two cells, TTC is better for a larger range.
By using Data – Text to Columns and specifying a delimiter that doesn’t exist (in this case, Tab is the delimiter and there are no tabs in the cells), each cell is written back to itself.
If you have a large range of formulas in Text formatted cells, remember the Text to Columns trick.