Multiplying Numbers in Excel
For help with this example, see the image to the right.
To multiply two or more 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 multiplication sign in Excel is the asterisk ( * )
Use Cell References in Formulas
Even though you can use numbers directly in a formula, it is much better to use the references or addresses of the cells containing the numbers you want to add.
By using cell references rather than the actual data in your formula, later, if you need to change your data, the results of the formula will update automatically without you having to rewrite the formula.
Setting Up the Multiplication Formula
As an example, lets create a formula in cell E1 that will multiply the data in cell D1 by the data in D2.
Our formula: = D1 * D2
- type the number 20 in cell D1
- type the number 10 in cell D2
To multiply 10 to 20 and have the answer appear in cell E1:
- Type an equal sign in cell E1.
- Click on cell D1 with the mouse pointer.
- Type an asterisk sign ( * ) in cell E1.
- Click on cell D2 with the mouse pointer.
- Press the ENTER key on the keyboard.
- The answer 200 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.