Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Thus, parentheses have the first (highest) precedence, and subtraction has
the last precedence. Well, to be honest, multiplication has the same
precedence as division, and addition has the same precedence as subtraction, but
you get the idea!
For example, the formula =1 + 2 × 15 equals 31. If you think it should
equal 45, then you better go visit your aunt! The answer equals 45 if you
include parentheses, such as this: =(1 + 2) × 15.
Getting the order of the operators correct is critical to the well-being of your
worksheet. Excel generates an error when the numbers of open and closed
parentheses do not match, but if you meant to add two numbers before the
multiplication, Excel will not know that you simply left the parentheses out!
A few minutes of refreshing your memory on operator order can save you a
lot of headaches down the road.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s kind of hard to view your formulas without
accidentally editing them. That’s because any time you are in “edit” mode
and the active cell has a formula, the formula may incorporate the address of
any other cell you click. This totally messes things up.
Wouldn’t it be easy if you could just look at all your formulas? There is a
way! It’s simple. Click File at the top left of the Excel workspace, then click on
Options, Click on the Advanced Tab, and scroll down to the Display options
for this worksheet section. See Figure 18-1.
Notice the Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results check box.
This box tells Excel that for any cells that have formulas to display the formula
itself instead of the calculated result. Figure 18-2 shows a worksheet that
displays the formulas. To return to normal view, repeat these steps and uncheck
the option. This option sure makes it easy to see what all the formulas are!
You can accidentally edit functions even when you have selected the View
Formulas option. Be careful clicking around the worksheet.