To divide two numbers in Excel you need to create a formula. Important points to remember about Excel formulas:
- formulas in Excel always begin with the equal sign ( = )
- the equal sign always goes in the cell where you want the answer to go
- the division symbol is the forward slash ( / )
Use Cell References in Formulas
Even though you can use numbers directly in your division formula, it is much better to use the references or addresses of the cells containing your data. If you use the cell references rather than the actual data, later, if you need to change the data in either cell, the results of the formula will update automatically without you having to rewrite the formula.
Setting Up the Division Formula
As an example, lets create a formula in cell E1 that will divide the contents of cell C1 by cell D1.
=C1 / D1
- place the number 20 in cell C1
- place the number 10 in cell D1
Division Formula Steps
To divide 20 by 10 and have the answer appear in cell E1:
- Type an equal sign in cell E1.
- Click on cell C1 with the mouse pointer.
- Type the division sign ( / ) in cell E1.
- Click on cell D1 with the mouse pointer.
- Press the ENTER key on the keyboard.
- The answer 2 should be present in cell E1.
- Even though you see the answer in cell E1, if you click on that cell you will see our formula in the formula bar above the work area.
To expand your formula to include additional operations - such as subtraction or addition - just continue to add the correct mathematical operator followed by the cell reference containing your data.
Note: Before you mix different mathematical operations, be sure you understand the order of operations that Excel follows when evaluating a formula.