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# Excel Formulas Step by Step Tutorial

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Mathematical Operators in Formulas

Excel's Mathematical Operators

Mathematical Operators

Creating formulas in Microsoft Excel is not difficult. Just combine the cell references of your data with the correct mathematical operator.

The mathematical operators used in Excel formulas are similar to the ones used in math class.

• Subtraction - minus sign ( - )
• Addition - plus sign ( + )
• Division - forward slash ( / )
• Multiplication - asterisk (* )
• Exponentiation - caret (^ )

Order of Operations

If more than one operator is used in a formula, there is a specific order that Excel will follow to perform these mathematical operations. This order of operations can be changed by adding brackets to the equation. An easy way to remember the order of operations is to use the acronym:

BEDMAS

The Order of Operations is:

• Brackets
Exponents
Division
Multiplication
Subtraction

How the Order of Operations Works

Any operation(s) contained in brackets will be carried out first followed by any exponents.

After that, Excel considers division or multiplication operations to be of equal importance, and carries out these operations in the order they occur left to right in the equation.

The same goes for the next two operations – addition and subtraction. They are considered equal in the order of operations. Which ever one appears first in an equation, either addition or subtraction, is the operation carried out first.

Ted French