top of page
  • Lowell

Calculation Order/Operator Precedence in Excel


If you are new to Excel, you may wonder why a formula does not yield expected results. This is often due to the order in which Excel performs calculations in your formulas, versus how we might process the calculations in our brain.


You may wish to add 5 and 2 together and multiply the results by 3, so you type “=5+2*3” without the quotes into a cell. The = tells Excel you're entering a formula. The * is the symbol for multiplication. Excel answers with 11, after you press the Enter key. Why? Because multiplication has a higher operator precedence than addition. Excel first multiplies 2 times 3, then adds the result to 5. To get the answer you expect (21), use parentheses to change the operator precedence. Your formula should be “=(5+2)*3.” Excel evaluates operations inside parentheses first, then performs the multiplication. When you press Enter, Excel displays 21, the result you intended, because you changed operator precedence with the parentheses.

Let’s use cell addresses next. Suppose the number 5 is in cell A1, 2 is in cell B1, and 3 is in cell C1. Entering = A1+B1*C1 into cell D1, yields 11. Entering =(A1+B1)*C1 yields 21.



17 views

Recent Posts

See All

Excel is a Square

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/turn-excel-cells-into-squares/ Uses: Calendar Grids, Print your own graph paper Here are two ways to create square cells in Excel. In either method, you can begin wit

Excel Can Be Flashy

Excel has an interesting feature in the Data Tools Group of the Data Ribbon. It’s called Flash Fill and I believe it arrived in Excel 2013. You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+E or click the Flash

A Cat Can't Concatenate, But Excel Can

The Excel CONCATENATE function lets you link or string together text and calculations. I use a simple target heart rate formula in the example below to illustrate the CONCATENATE function. Target hear

Comments


bottom of page