New in Origin 2021- The Formula Bar

We’ve included a new Formula Bar in Origin 2021. Similar to formula bars in OpenOffice and Excel, the Origin Formula Bar allows you to create cell-level formulae and easily view cell content- especially long passages of text. But more than that, it makes it easier to enter F(x)= label row formulae because you have more room for entering the formulae without having to make the relevant column very wide. It even provides a handy function lookup feature.

The Formula Bar is active when a worksheet is active. If you do not see it just below the top Origin toolbars, then check the View: Formula Bar menu and enable it.

Here is the Formula Bar:

More specifically, the Formula Bar provides these features:

  • More room for text and formulae in label and data rows without expanding the width of columns.
  • Adjustable height to accommodate multi-line text.
  • A central location for entering formulae.
  • Function lookup/auto insertion.
  • Data range selection (hunting a click-dragging) within the active worksheet for data to operate on.
  • Adjustable font size.

The Formula Bar is fairly simple to use with minimal practice and requires little in the way of explanation. But there are some things to know ahead of time about it’s various features:

  • Function lookup is triggered by the function lookup button ( fx ).
  • In the Search and Insert Function dialog (via function lookup), double-clicking on a function automatically inserts it into the Formula Bar.
  • Cell formulae must begin with an equals sign ( = ) to be recognized as formulae while F(x)= formulae do not require an equals sign (though it does not hurt to have one).
  • Data range selection (hunting via click-dragging) is only allowed when the blinking cursor is after an opening parenthesis character: ( or =.
  • Long Name, Units, Comments label rows only accept text while User-Defined label rows accept formulae. See this page for more information about the content of label rows.
  • F(x)= label row accepts formulae or text.
  • You must hit Enter or click the OK ( ) button for the value you entered in bar to be accepted.
  • The Cancel ( ) button reverts the Formula Bar content to that which was present before changes were made.

Finally, the font size of the Formula Bar can be adjusted via the @FBFS System Variable. It’s default value is 130 and it represents a percentage of the base font for the text editor part of the bar. The Formula Bar’s font size will immediately change to reflect the newly set value when you modify the System Variable (e.g. 160 ). However, if you delete the System Variable via the System Variables dialog, or via del @FBFS , you may have to restart Origin to see the Formula Bar return to its default value.

Well, that’s it for my introduction. We hope the Formula Bar proves to be a effective tool in our Origin toolbox. Thanks for reading!

About Chris Drozdowski

Chris Drozdowski is a Product Support Engineer at OriginLab. He loves to talk to customers and educate them. He particularly relishes diagnosing and solving difficult, edge-case issues. As well, he contributes code to help solve problems or enhance user experience. In his down time at work, he likes to research and write about esoteric product features. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, having fun with C++, working on his aquarium, and exploring craft beers.

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