# Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet that can be used for a variety of tasks, including basic math. Here’s how to use Excel as a calculator to perform basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

## Add numbers in Excel

Doing the addition in Excel is quite simple. You can either add numbers directly or use cell references to work with values stored in specific cells.

If you have a set of numbers you want to add, start by typing **=** in the cell where you want to display the result, then follow it with separated numbers **+** symbol. For example, to add the numbers 10, 20, and 30, click on the desired cell, enter the formula below, and press **Enter**.

`=10+20+30`

The result (60) appears in the selected cell.

Instead of entering numbers directly, you can also use cell references to add values from specific cells. For example, if you want to add values to cells A1, A2, and A3, type below and press **Enter**.

`=A1+A2+A3`

Excel also allows you to combine direct numbers and cell references in the same formula. For example, if you want to add 50 to the value in a cell **C1**your formula will look like this: **=C1+50**.

Although not necessary for basic addition, Excel has a SUM function that can simplify adding large ranges of numbers. Instead of listing each individual cell reference, you can use **=SUM(A1:A3)** to quickly add the numbers in cells A1 to A3.

## Subtract numbers in Excel

Subtracting numbers in Excel is done in a similar way. Place of use **+** sign as for addition, you will use **–** sign (minus) to subtract values.

For example, in any empty cell, type **=10-5** and press **Enter**. The result, 5, appears in the cell. Similarly, you can subtract values that are already entered in different cells. Suppose you have the number 20 in cell A1 and the number 8 in cell B1. In cell C1 you can write **=A1-B1** and press **Enter** get result 12.

## Multiply numbers in Excel

To multiply certain numbers or cell values in Excel, you will need to use ***** (asterisk; also called “star”) operator. To multiply two numbers in Excel, you can enter a formula **=number1*number2** in a cell and hit **Enter**. Alternatively, you can use a formula to multiply the contents of two cells A1 and B1 **=A1*B1**.

If you need to multiply an entire column or range of numbers by a single constant value, Excel makes that easy too. Suppose you want to multiply all the values in column B by 10. Enter a formula in column C **= B2*10**. Then drag the fill handle down the column to apply the formula to the entire range.

## Dividing numbers in Excel

If you want to divide numbers in Excel, you use the division operator, which is a forward slash (**/**). The general syntax of the division formula is **=numerator/denominator**where **numerator** is the number you want to divide by **denominator** is the number you want to divide by.

For example, to divide 20 by 5, you must write **= 20/5** and **Enter**. Similarly, you can use cell references to split the values stored in specific cells.

You can also divide by multiple numbers in one formula. For example, if you want to divide 100 by 4 and then divide the result by 5, you can write **= 100/4/5** in the cell.

## Use Excel as a calculator to do basic math

Excel can serve as a powerful calculator that allows you to perform basic math operations right in a single cell. Here is an example of a formula that involves addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division:

`=(10+5)*(20-4)/2`

Instead of using direct numbers, you can also refer to other cells in calculations. For example, if cell B1 contains 10, B2 contains 5, B3 contains 20, and B4 contains 4, you can write the formula as:

`=(B1+B2)*(B3-B4)/2`

It is important to note that Excel follows a specific order of operations when calculating formulas, commonly referred to by the abbreviation PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction). However, you can override this order by using parentheses to control the sequence of calculations.

Now that you’ve learned basic math in Excel, your calculations will never slow you down again. With addition, subtraction, multiplication and division at your fingertips, Excel can become your do-it-all calculator. Keep exploring and soon even more advanced features will be second nature.