How to Use Basic Math Formulas Like Addition and Subtraction in Excel

Basic Math in Excel for Adding Subtracting, Dividing, and Multiplying

It's all in the formula...
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Below are listed links to tutorials covering the basic math operations in Excel.

If you want to know how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide numbers in Excel, the articles listed below will show you how to create formulas to do so.

How to Subtract in Excel

Topics covered:

  • How to subtract numbers using a formula;
  • A step-by-step example of creating a subtraction formula in Excel using point and click;
  • Why using cell references will make it easy to update your calculations if your data should ever change.

How to Divide in Excel

Topics covered:

  • How to divide two numbers using a formula;
  • A step-by-step example of creating a division formula in Excel using point and click;
  • Why using cell references will make it easy to update your calculations if your data should ever change;

How to Multiply in Excel

Topics covered:

  • How to multiply two numbers using a formula;
  • A step-by-step example of creating a multiplication formula in Excel using point and click;
  • Why using cell references will make it easy to update your calculations if your data should ever change.

How to Add in Excel

Topics covered:

  • How to add two numbers using a formula;
  • A step-by-step example of creating an addition formula in Excel using point and click;
  • Why using cell references will make it easy to update your calculations if your data should ever change.

Changing the Order of Operations in Excel Formulas

Topics covered:

  • The Order of Operations these spreadsheet programs follow when evaluating a formula
  • How to change the order of operations in formulas

Exponents in Excel

Although less used than the mathematical operators listed above, Excel uses the caret character
( ^ ) as the exponent operator in formulas.

Exponents are sometimes referred to as repeated multiplication since the exponent - or power as it is sometimes called - indicates how many times the base number should be multiplied by itself.

For example, the exponent  4^2 (four squared) - has a base number of 4 and an exponent of 2, or is said to be raised to the power of two.

Either way, the formula is a short form of saying that the base number should be multiplied together twice (4 x 4) to give a result of 16.

Similarly, 5^3 (five cubed) indicates that the number 5 should be multiplied together a total of three times (5 x 5 x 5) to give an answer of 125.

Excel Math Functions

In addition to the basic math formulas listed above, Excel has several functions - built-in formulas - that can be used to carry out a number of mathematical operations.

These functions include:

The SUM function - makes it easy to add up columns or rows of numbers;

The PRODUCT function - multiplies two or more numbers together. When multiplying just two numbers, a multiplication formula is easier;

The QUOTIENT function - returns only return the integer portion (whole number only) of a division operation;

The MOD function - returns only the remainder of a division operation.