Formula Editor - Why should you enable the new formula bar? Old vs New compared.

The formula bar in Power Apps Studio has recently been updated. Find out what's new and whether you should enable this new feature.

Power Apps Studio now includes a new formula editor. It's based on the Monaco code editor - the same editor that Visual Studio Code uses. Therefore, the behaviour will be very familiar to those that use VS Code.

The new editor is currently in preview and it's necessary to enable this feature in the app settings.

Exactly what features does this new formula bar offer?

Why should I use the new formula editor?

Once we enable the new formula bar, a very noticeable difference is that it feels quicker. When we type into the formula bar, there's less lag and the overall editing experience feels snappier.

The most helpful feature is that it offers more descriptive help and IntelliSense. If we were to type 'Patch', the formula bar now provides a full description of the formula. As shown below, the up and down buttons provide descriptions of the further usages of the formula.

The old formula bar (shown below) offers Intellisense that's much more sparse.

Another added benefit is that it also applies to the properties pane. In the previous version, the controls in this panel provided no help.

Why should I continue to use the old editor?

There are a couple of existing features that are missing with the new editor. If these features are important to you, you may want to stick with the editor.

The first is that the formula reference dropdown panel is missing. With the previous version, it was possible to click the 'fx' dropdown to display a list of functions grouped by function category (shown below).

With the old editor, it was also possible to access a 'find and replace' function from within the formula bar (shown below). This feature is also not available in the new editor. However, this may not be a major problem because it's possible to carry out a global 'find and replace' through the menu item in the left hand panel.


In summary, I think the new formula editor is an improvement over the existing editor. It's worth enabling this editor for the speed and improved IntelliSence features. Although it's missing a couple of features, these were not very widely used and hopefully, Microsoft will re-add these features in a future release.