Operator order of precedence and Creating Formula in Excel

Creating Formula in Excel

Creating customized (user-defined) formulas in Microsoft Excel is not too difficult. For creating formulas just combine the references of your data with the correct mathematical operator (such as -, +, /, *, and ^).

Operator Order of Precedence

The order of mathematical operations determines in which order the mathematical operations are carried out. If more than mathematical operators are used in the formula, there is a specific order (sequence) that Microsoft Excel will follow to perform (compute) these mathematical operations. However, to change the order of operations, brackets (parenthesis) are used in the Excel formula. The easy way to remember the order of operations (precedence) is to remember the acronym: BEDMAS (PEDMAS), that i.e.,

The Operator order of precedence (operations) is:

Bracket or Parenthesis
Exponents (^)
Division (/)
Multiplication (*)
Addition (+)
Subtraction (-)

Suppose, the following is the screenshot of an Excel sheet. The formula is also shown in the formula bar. As an example, addition (+), division (/), and multiplication (*) operators are used.

Operator order of precedence

The formula in the screenshot performs the computation in the following order,

  • $E1/F1$ will be computed (the answer is 1.5),
  • the answer of $E1/F1$ will be multiplied by value of $G1$ (answer is $1.5*2 = 3$)
  • the answer of $E1/F1 * G1$ will be added to $D1$ (answer is 7)

Any operation(s) enclosed in brackets (parenthesis) will be carried out first followed by any exponents. After that, Excel will consider division or multiplication operations to be of equal importance. The operations are performed in the order they occur left to right in the formula. A similar sequence is also performed for addition and subtraction. Both (addition and subtraction) are considered equal in the order of operations. The operator that appears first will be computed first.

order of precedence bracket

For example, see the screenshot The sequence of operations is

  • The first bracket will be computed, that is, multiplication will be performed $(2 *2 = 4)$
  • E1 will be divided by the answer from the multiplication of $F1$ and $G1 (3/4 = 0.75)$
  • Lastly, $D1$ will be added to the answer $0.75 (4 + 0.75 = 4.75)$

Now check the sequence in the following screenshot

order of precedence bracket

For Creating formula in Excel, see the link Creating Excel Formula

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