How do I use the formula bar?

The formula bar offers an intelligent way to build formulas for Klips (in the Klip Editor or when modelling a data source you'll use to build a Klip) and in PowerMetrics (when modelling a data source you'll use to build a custom metric).

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.

This article includes:

Formula bar shortcuts and tips

The following table includes formula bar shortcuts and tips:

In the formula bar, type:



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 right sidebar. 


Type @ to manually enter a column reference from 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 are supported in the Klip Editor only. They 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

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


Displays the function list.

CTRL+Shift+F or use the three- dot menu

Formats the formula.

ALT+L or use the three-dot menu

Displays line numbers.


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

List of operators

The following table includes a list of available operators:

In the formula bar, type:

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

The following table describes how to select content in the formula bar:

In the formula bar:


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

Selects the string.


Selects the current line.

Accessing in-app 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

Troubleshooting errors 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 will display.



Typos when entering a function

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

Mismatched parentheses in formulas

Mismatched parentheses will be highlighted in red.

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.

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.

Tips for using the formula bar in the Klip Editor (video)

The following video demo focuses on techniques for using the formula bar in the Klip Editor:

Learn more

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