# Introducing arithmetic operators

## Video: Introducing arithmetic operators

Many Excel formulas include arithmetic operators, such as the Plus sign and the Minus sign. But Excel doesn't just read your formula from left to right and take the operations in order; instead, Excel has a strict order in which it performs the operations. This worksheet displays the list of operators you can use in Excel and the order in which it processes them. I'll explain what the symbols mean and how they work within formulas. First, Excel checks whether a value is negative. Then it checks if a value is expressed as a percentage. If a value is expressed as a percentage, then Excel treats it as if it were divided by 100.

## Introducing arithmetic operators

Many Excel formulas include arithmetic operators, such as the Plus sign and the Minus sign. But Excel doesn't just read your formula from left to right and take the operations in order; instead, Excel has a strict order in which it performs the operations. This worksheet displays the list of operators you can use in Excel and the order in which it processes them. I'll explain what the symbols mean and how they work within formulas. First, Excel checks whether a value is negative. Then it checks if a value is expressed as a percentage. If a value is expressed as a percentage, then Excel treats it as if it were divided by 100.

In other words, 75% is exactly the same as 0.75. So as an example, let's say that we have just the value -3, which is displayed as -3. If you have the value 75 percent, you type in 75 and then a percent sign, and you have the value 75%. That's also displayed here on the formula bar. If you were to type a formula where you multiplied 4 by 75%, so that would be =4*75%, and press Return, you get 300%, but because the value in the cell was expressed as a percent, you're dividing by 100.

So if we change it back to a regular number value by applying the Comma Number format, you see that it's expressed as the number 3. After verifying whether a value is negative and whether it's expressed as a percentage, Excel starts with the other operations. The first priority is exponentiation, where a value is multiplied by itself a specific number of times. The symbol for an exponent is the caret, which you type by pressing Shift+6, or as I think of it, capital six. So, for example, if you type =2^3 or two to the third, and press Return, you get the answer 8; =2^4, Return is 16; and so on.

The next operations in order are multiplication and division, followed by addition and subtraction. So just continuing on in the cell, let's say that I have 4+5 - that's 9 - and the Formula 4*5 - times being the asterisk - 5 is 20. Excel examines the formula before it starts making any calculations, and if it finds two operators of the same level, it performs them in left to right order. As an example, let's say that we have the formula =10/2*9+3.

This formula would be interpreted as 10 divided by 2, which is 5, times 9, which is 45, plus 3, which is 48. So when we press Return, we get the answer of 48. You can change the order of operations in a formula by adding parentheses. As an example, let's say that we have the formula =9*2+3. So in other words we have 9 times 2, because multiplication is done before addition or subtraction, and then you take that total, plus 3.

So the answer is 21. On the other hand, if you add parentheses around 2+3, which I'll do here on the formula bar, type a left parenthesis here and a right parenthesis here, that means that Excel will add 2 plus 3 and then multiply that total by 9. So when I press Return, we should get the answer of 45. Finally, you can also use comparison operators equal, greater than, greater than or equal to, less than, less than or equal to, and does not equal to create formulas that return a result of true or false.

For example, if you want to ask, is 10 the same as 9, you would type =10=9. Now, you are not creating two formulas; instead, you are using the comparison operator of equal to ask whether 10 is equal to 9. When you press Return, the answer is false. If you were to type =10>9 and press Return, you would get the answer of true. Always be sure to verify that your formulas operations occur in the desired order. If you're getting an answer you don't expect, that's a great first place to look for an error.

Show transcript

#### This video is part of

Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 30139 viewers

Author

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1. ### Introduction

1m 58s
1. Welcome
1m 16s
2. Using the exercise files
42s
2. ### 1. Getting Started with Excel

20m 56s
1. Exploring the Excel 2011 window
4m 16s
2. Introducing the Ribbon for Mac
4m 44s
3. Customizing the Ribbon
4m 20s
4. Setting program preferences
3m 20s
5. Getting help in Excel
4m 16s
3. ### 2. Managing Workbooks

20m 4s
1. Opening, creating, and saving workbooks
5m 23s
2. Setting workbook properties
4m 14s
3. Creating and modifying workbook templates
4m 18s
4. Managing workbooks across multiple versions of Excel
6m 9s
4. ### 3. Managing Worksheets, Cells, and Cell Data

1h 2m
1. Selecting cells and groups of cells
4m 58s
2. Copying and pasting cell data
2m 39s
3. Entering data using AutoFill and other techniques
4m 32s
4. Inserting symbols and special characters
5m 3s
5. Creating an Excel table
4m 43s
6. Locating and changing data using Find and Replace
4m 57s
7. Restricting input using validation rules
4m 42s
8. Using lists to limit data entered into a cell
2m 32s
9. Sorting worksheet data
3m 2s
10. Creating a custom sort order
3m 54s
11. Filtering worksheet data
4m 6s
12. Inserting, moving, and deleting cells and cell ranges
3m 50s
13. Splitting and freezing rows and columns
3m 51s
14. Managing worksheets
5m 28s
15. Creating, editing, and deleting headers and footers
4m 41s
5. ### 4. Summarizing Data Using Formulas and Functions

1h 17m
1. Introducing Excel formulas and functions
3m 17s
2. Adding a formula to a cell
4m 0s
3. Introducing arithmetic operators
4m 13s
4. Using absolute and relative cell references
6m 29s
5. Controlling how Excel copies and pastes formulas
6m 5s
6. Referring to Excel table data in formulas
2m 3s
7. Creating an AutoSum formula
3m 22s
8. Summarizing data on the status bar
2m 22s
9. Joining text in cells with concatenation
3m 59s
10. Summarizing data using an IF function
6m 21s
11. Summarizing data using SUMIF and other conditional functions
5m 41s
12. Creating formulas to count cells
2m 37s
13. Rounding cell values up and down
4m 55s
14. Finding data using VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP
6m 33s
15. Auditing formulas by identifying precedents and dependents
3m 25s
16. Managing Excel formula error indicators
4m 42s
17. Managing scenarios
4m 59s
18. Performing Goal Seek analysis
2m 31s
6. ### 5. Formatting Worksheet Elements

45m 48s
1. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
6m 7s
2. Applying number and date formats to cells
7m 1s
3. Managing text alignment
3m 56s
4. Copying cell formats
4m 2s
5. Managing cell styles
3m 16s
6. Managing Office themes
3m 31s
7. Creating rule-based conditional formats
3m 54s
8. Defining Top 10 conditional formats
4m 19s
9. Defining data bar, color scale, and icon set conditional formats
6m 6s
10. Editing, ordering, and deleting conditional formats
3m 36s
7. ### 6. Working with Charts

36m 55s
1. Creating bar and column charts
5m 26s
2. Creating pie charts
2m 32s
3. Creating line charts
4m 34s
4. Creating XY (scatter) charts
1m 49s
5. Creating stock charts
4m 11s
6. Changing chart types and layouts
2m 22s
7. Changing the appearance of a chart
4m 25s
8. Managing chart axes and numbering
2m 51s
4m 14s
10. Creating sparkline charts
4m 31s
8. ### 7. Working with External Data

18m 39s
1. Importing data from comma separated value (CSV) or text files
4m 20s
2. Connecting to an external data source
2m 22s
6m 1s
4. Including an Excel workbook in another Office document
3m 5s
5. Linking to an Excel chart from another Office program
2m 51s
9. ### 8. Working with Objects

26m 21s
1. Creating and formatting shapes
3m 10s
5m 38s
3. Cropping, compressing, and removing image backgrounds
4m 46s
4. Creating SmartArt graphics
5m 7s
5. Creating WordArt
2m 34s
6. Aligning and layering objects
5m 6s
10. ### 9. Exploring PivotTable Reports

29m 51s
1. Introducing PivotTable reports
3m 47s
2. Creating a PivotTable report
4m 37s
3. Pivoting a PivotTable report
3m 18s
4. Managing subtotals and grand totals
3m 23s
5. Summarizing more than one data field
1m 34s
6. Changing the data field summary operation
2m 40s
7. Changing the data field number format
2m 27s
8. Filtering a PivotTable report
2m 46s
9. Applying a PivotTable style
2m 20s
10. Creating and editing styles
2m 59s

26m 47s
1. Checking spelling
3m 32s
2. Setting AutoCorrect and automatic Replace options
3m 59s
3m 40s
4. Tracking and reviewing changes
5m 12s
5. Printing a worksheet or workbook
3m 44s
6. Setting and removing print areas
2m 31s
7. Exporting to other formats
1m 33s
8. Protecting a workbook
2m 36s
12. ### 11. Automating Workbooks Using Macros

23m 52s
1. Running an existing macro
4m 56s
2. Recording a macro
3m 56s
3. Recording a macro using relative references
6m 15s
4. Renaming, viewing, and deleting macros
2m 58s
2m 43s
6. Turning off screen updating in a macro
3m 4s

1m 1s
1m 1s

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