Understanding Operator Precedence

Problem

You want to learn the specific order in which Excel executes operations in formulas.

Solution

Excel performs operations in formulas from left to right following the leading equals sign. In doing so, Excel performs specific operations, if they are encountered in your formula, in the following order of precedence: negation, exponentiation, multiplication and division, and addition and subtraction.

Discussion

You can change operator precedence using parentheses. For example, if you enter the formula =A1+B2/C3 in a cell, Excel will perform the division first and then the addition. This may be what you wantthat is, you want to add the result of B2 divided by C3 to A1. However, if you intend to divide the sum of A1 and B2 by C3, then you need to write =(A1+B2)/C3. The parentheses force Excel to perform the addition operation first, followed by the division.

You can also nest parentheses. For example you could write =((A1+B2)/C3)*C4, and so on. I find it is always good practice to use parentheses liberally to be sure your formula is executed as intended. Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook (Cookbooks (OReilly))
ISBN: 0596008791
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 206
Authors: David M Bourg

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