How do I use the formula bar?

The formula bar offers an intelligent way to build formulas for your Klips (in the Klip Editor or when modelling a data source you will use to build a Klip) and PowerMetrics (when modelling a data source you will use to build a PowerMetric) . You can type a formula directly in the formula bar or select from a list of functions. When you start typing a function name in the formula bar, a list of functions filtered by the letter you entered is displayed. Online help with examples and parameters automatically pops up for each function.

Watch this video demoIt introduces key features of the Klip Editor formula bar, and answers common questions.

In this article:

Formula bar shortcuts

Here are some useful hints on how to use many of the features available in the formula bar:

In the Formula Bar, type:

What it does


Start typing to display a list of available functions, variables and references. The function is automatically added to the formula bar when you select it.

Use the arrow keys to navigate to a function in the list. Press Enter to select it when you find the function you want. 

Note: Click the Browse All Functions link at the bottom of the function list to see the Function Browser in the sidebar.


Type @  to manually enter a column reference of the active data source. Unmodelled data sources are referenced with sheet location, for example, @A:A, and modelled data sources are referenced by column names, for example, @Product.


Type $ to display a list of available variables.

Note: Variables can be used in the Klip Editor but are not supported when modelling a data source.


Type & to reference results of actions and formulas applied to other sub-components. 


Type ! to reference formulas from other sub-components.


Use around a value to convert it to a string.

ALT + A or the Lightning Bolt button Evaluates the formula.
CTRL + A or Command+A Selects everything in the formula bar.
CTRL + E Selects the function that your cursor is on.
Ctrl+Home or Command + Left arrow  Places the cursor at the beginning of the formula. 
// Type // to add single line comments to explain portions of your formula.
/* multiple
line comment
Type /* to add multiple line comments to explain portions of your formula.


Applies the selected function.

CTRL+Enter or SHIFT+Enter

Add a line break in the formula bar to make it easier to work with long formulas.


To view the function list.

CTRL+Shift+F or use the three dots menu

To format the formula.

ALT+L or use the three dots menu

To show line numbers.


To undo an action when modelling a data source. Learn more about actions you can perform when modelling a data source.


Using operators in formulas:

In the Formula Bar:

What it does






Multiply by.


Divide by.


Is less than.


Is greater than.


Is less than or equal to.


Is greater than or equal to.


Is equal to.


Is not equal to.

Selecting content in the formula bar:

In the Formula Bar

What it does

Click anywhere in the formula

Sets the focus and places the cursor.

Click on a parenthesis (brackets) in your formula

Places the cursor next to the clicked parenthesis. The matching parenthesis is also selected.

Double-click on a string

This selects the string


Selects the current line.

Troubleshooting in the formula bar

Errors are highlighted in the formula bar:  

  • A function or parameter that has the wrong syntax appears highlighted in red in the formula bar.
  • A tool tip is displayed when you hover over a syntax error in the formula bar.
  • If the formula evaluation results in an error, a red border will appear around the entire Formula Bar and an error icon is displayed.



Typos when entering a function in the Formula Editor

If the function is not spelled correctly, it will be highlighted in red in the Formula Editor.

Mismatched parentheses in formulas

Ensure that the required brackets are entered.

Missing comma separators between functions

The system highlights in red the function that is missing a comma. A tool tip is displayed on hover to describe the issue causing the error. Add a comma between functions.

Omitting the semicolon (";") when copying and pasting data references in a formula

The system will highlight in red the part of the formula that is missing a semicolon. Add the semicolon to correct the problem.

Pop-up function help

When you select a function, a help pop-up displays a description, examples and parameter information. You can dismiss the Help pop-up by clicking the X in the dialog and reactivate it at any time with the Show Function Help button.

Show Function Help button

Learn more

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