How to add, subtract, multiply or divide in Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most used tools of the Microsoft Office office suite , with this tool you will be able to calculate VAT for products , prepare graphs, data records and many more applications for office work.

How to Sum, Remain, Multiply or Divide in Excel Manually or with Formulas?

Nevertheless. To perform many of these tasks it is essential to know how to do basic operations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing manually in Excel. Continue reading and see how to do it.

Index( )

  1. How to do addition, subtraction, multiplication or division manually in Excel?
    1. in a single cell
    2. Adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing cells
  2. What are the functions that allow you to perform basic mathematical operations in Excel?
    1. Addition
    2. Product

How to do addition, subtraction, multiplication or division manually in Excel?

As we have already mentioned, it will be essential and useful to know the procedure to perform basic mathematical operations in Excel; since it is the basis for performing various calculations and more complex tasks. Below we show you the methods in which you can fill out your cells to complete the operations:

in a single cell

Depending on the circumstances, you will have to perform some operations separately or together in the same cell. In this case, you must follow the following procedure:

  • To make sums in the same cell, it will suffice to place the numbers or quantities that you want to add, interspersing said quantities with the “+” symbol; For example, suppose you want to add the amounts 15, 8, 23 and 46. You must place the following expression in the cell where you want to perform the operation: “=15+8+23+46”, when you press the “Enter” key or “Enter”, you will have as result the number “92”.
  • The subtraction in the same cell will be completed in a similar way to the procedure that we have explained with the addition, since the difference will be that you must use the “-” symbol instead of the “+”. Example, to subtract 15.8 and 2 you must place “=15-8-2” in the destination cell, the result will be “5”.
  • The multiplication, you will obtain it by placing the symbol “*” in the middle of the amounts. If you want to multiply 12, 5 and 4. Put the expression “=12*5*4” in the destination cell, and the result will be “240”.
  • To divide, the symbol to use is “/”, in this case if you want to divide the amounts 240 and 6 for example, place “=240/6” in the corresponding cell, the result will be “40”.
  • Finally, you will be able to carry out combined operations (Algebraic operations) as it is known in mathematical terms in the same cell. To do this, take into account the hierarchy of operations (First multiplications and divisions, and lastly additions and subtractions) or, use parentheses to determine the order of operations. For example, “=2+4*3-8/2”, this operation in Excel will result in the number “10”. Now if you use “=(2+4)*3-8/2”, it will result in “14”.

Adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing cells

Another option you will have is to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations on different cells; To do this process manually you must go to the destination cell, and point to the cells whose content you want to perform the operations and place the symbol of the corresponding operation (“+”, “-“, “*” or “/”). For example, if you want to add cells A2, A3, A4 and A5, put in the destination cell “=A2+A3+A4+A5”.

The difference between this procedure and the previous one is that you will have an expression that will change depending on the quantities or numbers found in the reference cells (A2, A3, A4 and A5).

Follow the same procedure that we showed in the previous section for the rest of the operations, but the difference will be that instead of placing fixed values , you must place the reference cells where the values ​​you want to operate will be.

For example, a combined operation with named cells can be “=A2+A3*A4-A5/A2”, with this we are telling Excel to multiply the contents of A3 by A4, to divide the contents of A5 by A2, and finally take the value of A2, add the result of the multiplication and subtract the value of the division.

In relation to this process of cell operations, you will have the possibility of operating on cell ranges, such as subtracting amounts and ranges in Excel . Although you will not only have the possibility of subtracting ranges, but also of performing other operations.

What are the functions that allow you to perform basic mathematical operations in Excel?

With the passage of time, Microsoft Excel incorporates more tools that allow making histograms and frequency polygons , graphs or advanced calculations of various kinds. However, it maintains the basic and elementary functions of simple calculation in all its versions, such as:


The sum function is a resource provided by Microsoft Excel to help perform the addition operation on a set of cells. The application of this resource will be very useful and valuable when you have many cells with data that you need to add.

To apply this function correctly, you must place “=Sum(Range_of_cells)” in the destination cell , where the cell range argument is all those cells that contain the values ​​of interest. “=Sum(A2:A20)”.


Multiplication is conceived in Excel as the “Product” function, with it you can carry out the multiplication operations of the cells or range of cells that you want to operate. For example, if you have cells from B2 to B6, and you want to multiply them, put “=Product(B2:B6)” in the destination cell.

Now, if you want to multiply those cells and add another one that is not successive in the multiplication, you can put “=Product(B2:B6;B8)”. With the above expression we tell Excel to multiply all the cells from B2 to B6 and cell B8, the key to skip cell B7 is to place the semicolon symbol (;).

As you will see the colon (:) operates or tells Excel to take the entire range; while the semicolon signals that it should take a specific cell. You will have already noticed how easy it is to perform basic operations in Excel , both in the same cell and in a range.

It’s also easy to do merge operations and even work with cell ranges using functions . For more information regarding basic operations, you can consult the official Microsoft page .


by Abdullah Sam
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