Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Formulas
Arithmetic Operations
Excel provides powerful functions and capabilities that allow you to perform
arithmetic operations easily and efciently. Table 2–2 describes multiplication and
other valid Excel arithmetic operators.
Table 2 2 Summary of Arithmetic Operators
Arithmetic
Operator
Example
of Usage
Meaning
Result
Negation
–78
Negative 78
%
Percentage
=23%
Multiplies 23 by 0.01
^
Exponentiation
=3 ^ 4
Raises 3 to the fourth power
*
Multiplication
=61.5 * C5
Multiplies the contents of cell C5 by 61.5
/
Division
=H3 / H11
Divides the contents of cell H3 by the contents of cell H11
+
=11 + 9
Subtraction
=22 – F15
Subtracts the contents of cell F15 from 22
Order of Operations
When more than one arithmetic operator is involved in a formula, Excel follows
the same basic order of operations that you use in algebra. Moving from left to right in a
formula, the order of operations is as follows: rst negation (–), then all percentages (%),
then all exponentiations (^), then all multiplications (*) and divisions (/), and nally, all
As in algebra, you can use parentheses to override the order of operations.
For example, if Excel follows the order of operations, 8 * 3 + 2 equals 26. If you use
parentheses, however, to change the formula to 8 * (3 + 2), the result is 40, because the
parentheses instruct Excel to add 3 and 2 before multiplying by 8. Table 2–3 illustrates
several examples of valid Excel formulas and explains the order of operations.
Table 2 3 Examples of Excel Formulas
Formula
Result
=G15
Assigns the value in cell G15 to the active cell.
=2^4 + 7
Assigns the sum of 16 + 7 (or 23) to the active cell.
=100 + D2 or =D2 +100 or
=(100 + D2)
Assigns 100 plus the contents of cell D2 to the active cell.
=25% * 40
Assigns the product of 0.25 times 40 (or 10) to the active cell.
– (K15 * X45)
Assigns the negative value of the product of the values contained in cells K15
and X45 to the active cell. You do not need to type an equal sign before an
expression that begins with minus signs, which indicates a negation.
=(U8 – B8) * 6
Assigns the difference between the values contained in cells U8 and B8 times 6
to the active cell.
=J7 / A5 + G9 * M6 –
Z2 ^ L7
Completes the following operations, from left to right: exponentiation (Z2 ^ L7),
then division (J7 / A5), then multiplication (G9 * M6), then addition (J7 / A5) +
(G9 * M6), and nally subtraction (J7 / A5 + G9 * M6) – (Z2 ^ L7). If cells
A5 = 6, G9 = 2, J7 = 6, L7 = 4, M6 = 5, and Z2 = 2, then Excel assigns the
active cell the value – 5; that is, 6 / 6 + 2 * 5 – 2 ^ 4 = – 5.
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