# Basic calculations with Excel

Last Updated on 13/11/2023

How do you use Excel to perform basic calculations?

Writting a formula in Excel is very simple but you must respect some rules to avoid mistakes

1. Start your formula with the = symbol

In Excel, any formula or basic calculation starts with the = sign

2. Respect the order of operations

Each mathematical operator doesn't have the same weight in an operation. In Excel, as in other programs, this order of operations must be respected

3. Use the cell references

To simplify the writting of your formulas, you can select a cell to use its content.

## The = sign

In Excel, all the calculations or formulas start with the = sign. It's COMPULSORY !!!

To add values in Excel, you just have to write in any cell an operation like this one.

=10+5

In the cell, you see the result and in the formula bar. Take care when you delete the contain of a cell, you could delete a formula and not a value.

## Subtract values

In the same way, to subtract values, you simply write a formula like this

=25-20

=20-25

## Multiplication and division

Here again, to make a multiplication or division, you just have to write the operation in a cell and you start with the sign =

=2*12 =>24

=50/10 =>5

## Order of operations

In mathematics, all the operators don't have the same "power". That's what is called the order of operations. Multiplication and division have a stronger rank than addition and subtraction.

The order of operations is

1. The parenthesis
2. Multiplication and division

### Explanation of a calculation with add and multiplication

What is the result of this calculation 2+3*4? 20 is wrong!

In fact, in Excel (and all the software) the multiplication is evaluated before the add.

• So first it's 3*4=12
• And then, 2+12=14

And this is the result returns in the cell 😃

### Use parenthesis

If you want to calculate the addition before the multiplication it's possible. For that, you must write the addition inside parentheses

=(2+3)*4

This point is very important to calculate VAT for instance.

## Use reference in your formula

As you can see, in the previous example, we have used the reference of the cells to write our formula. These are the steps you must follow

2. Select the cell B4 with your mouse
3. Write the symbols /(1+
4. Select the cell C1
5. Press F4 to add the dollars.
6. Finish by closing the parenthesis

## Training online

I'm sure you have seen this game in your Facebook timeline. But when you look at the answers in the comments, ... so many people don't respect the order of operations.

The solution is the following

1. Row 1: 3 bottles of beer = 30.
• A bottle of beer it's 10 =30/3 (ok for every one? 😉)
2. Row 2: 1 beer bottle + 2 hamburgers = 20
• We know that a beer bottle = 10
• So 2 hamburgers = 10 (20-10)
• 1 hamburger it's 5 =10/2
3. Row 3: (here is the trick) 1 hamburger + 4 pints = 13
• 1 hamburger = 5
• Here we have 2 groups of 2 pints. So there is 4 pints
• So, 13-5 (the hamburger) = 8. And 8/4=2.
• The pint = 2
4. Row 4: 1 hamburger + 1 pint * 1 beer bottle = ?
• So, you must respect the prior of the mathematical symbols
• 1 pint * 1 beer bottle => 2*10 = 20
• 20 + 1 hamburger => 20+5 = 25 😉

# Basic calculations with Excel

Last Updated on 13/11/2023

How do you use Excel to perform basic calculations?

Writting a formula in Excel is very simple but you must respect some rules to avoid mistakes

1. Start your formula with the = symbol

In Excel, any formula or basic calculation starts with the = sign

2. Respect the order of operations

Each mathematical operator doesn't have the same weight in an operation. In Excel, as in other programs, this order of operations must be respected

3. Use the cell references

To simplify the writting of your formulas, you can select a cell to use its content.

## The = sign

In Excel, all the calculations or formulas start with the = sign. It's COMPULSORY !!!

To add values in Excel, you just have to write in any cell an operation like this one.

=10+5

In the cell, you see the result and in the formula bar. Take care when you delete the contain of a cell, you could delete a formula and not a value.

## Subtract values

In the same way, to subtract values, you simply write a formula like this

=25-20

=20-25

## Multiplication and division

Here again, to make a multiplication or division, you just have to write the operation in a cell and you start with the sign =

=2*12 =>24

=50/10 =>5

## Order of operations

In mathematics, all the operators don't have the same "power". That's what is called the order of operations. Multiplication and division have a stronger rank than addition and subtraction.

The order of operations is

1. The parenthesis
2. Multiplication and division

### Explanation of a calculation with add and multiplication

What is the result of this calculation 2+3*4? 20 is wrong!

In fact, in Excel (and all the software) the multiplication is evaluated before the add.

• So first it's 3*4=12
• And then, 2+12=14

And this is the result returns in the cell 😃

### Use parenthesis

If you want to calculate the addition before the multiplication it's possible. For that, you must write the addition inside parentheses

=(2+3)*4

This point is very important to calculate VAT for instance.

## Use reference in your formula

As you can see, in the previous example, we have used the reference of the cells to write our formula. These are the steps you must follow

2. Select the cell B4 with your mouse
3. Write the symbols /(1+
4. Select the cell C1
5. Press F4 to add the dollars.
6. Finish by closing the parenthesis

## Training online

I'm sure you have seen this game in your Facebook timeline. But when you look at the answers in the comments, ... so many people don't respect the order of operations.

The solution is the following

1. Row 1: 3 bottles of beer = 30.
• A bottle of beer it's 10 =30/3 (ok for every one? 😉)
2. Row 2: 1 beer bottle + 2 hamburgers = 20
• We know that a beer bottle = 10
• So 2 hamburgers = 10 (20-10)
• 1 hamburger it's 5 =10/2
3. Row 3: (here is the trick) 1 hamburger + 4 pints = 13
• 1 hamburger = 5
• Here we have 2 groups of 2 pints. So there is 4 pints
• So, 13-5 (the hamburger) = 8. And 8/4=2.
• The pint = 2
4. Row 4: 1 hamburger + 1 pint * 1 beer bottle = ?
• So, you must respect the prior of the mathematical symbols
• 1 pint * 1 beer bottle => 2*10 = 20
• 20 + 1 hamburger => 20+5 = 25 😉