Page 530 (Excel) in office for Mac 2008. What if Control-' doesn't work. Is it anything to do with Apple keyboard?
What if the official way does not work either and just brings up a box on the screen headed "Delete".
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Are you sure you are using the ` (key in upper left of the keyboard, above the tab key) and not the ' (on the right side just next to return)?
Anyway, that is a short cut, which does the same thing as opening the Preferences -> View panel, then in the Window options, clicking formulas.
I hope that helps,