How to Add, Subtract, Divide and Multiply in Excel

There are different arithmetic functions that you can execute in Excel. In this post, I’ll show you how to add, subtract, divide and multiply in Excel.

Before we start, let’s look at the symbols that represent the basic arithmetic functions in Excel:

• The ‘+’ symbol is used to add/sum values

• The ‘-‘ symbol is used to subtract values

• The ‘/’ symbol is used to divide values

• The ‘*’ symbol is used to multiply values

Add function in Excel

To start, I’ll show you how to add/sum values in Excel. In our example, we will sum together the numbers 5 and 3:

(1) First, open an Excel spreadsheet, and then double-click on cell A1 to type your function.

For simplicity, I chose to perform the add/sum function in cell A1, but feel free to choose another cell.

(2) Then, type:  =5+3

 

Add function in Excel 2010

 

(3) Finally, press Enter. The result of your operation will now appear in cell A1:

 

Cell in Excel 2010

Subtract function in Excel

In this example, we will perform a subtract operation of 9-4:

(1) Firstly, double-click on cell A1

(2) Then, type:  =9-4

 

Subtract function in Excel 2010

 

(3) Finally, press Enter. The result of your operation will now appear in cell A1:

 

Excel Cell

Divide function in Excel

Now, we will preform the divide operation of 12/3:

(1) First, double-click on cell A1

(2) Then, type:  =12/3

 

Divide function in Excel 2010

 

(3) Finally, press Enter and you’ll get:

 

MS Excel cell

Multiply function in Excel

Here, we will multiply the numbers 5 and 4 as follows:

(1) To start, double-click on cell A1

(2) Then, type:  =5*4

 

Multiply function in Excel 2010

 

(3) Finally, press Enter. You’ll now see the result of your operation in cell A1:

 

Top cell in Excel

Performing a combination of arithmetic operations in Excel

To start, let’s store the numbers 22, 2, and 5 in cells A1, B1 and C1 respectively.

We will then review how to preform a combination of the following arithmetic operations:

(1) Add and subtract

(2) Subtract and multiply

(3) Subtract, multiply and divide

Add and subtract

Now, let’s perform the following operation of 22-2+5:

(1) First, double-click on cell A3 to type your operations.

We will use the cell A3 to populate the result of our arithmetic operation (but feel free to use another cell if you’d like).

(2) Then, type:  =A1-B1+C1

 

Add and subtract in Excel

 

(3) Finally, press Enter. You’ll now see the result of your operation in cell A3:

 

Numbers in Excel

Subtract and multiply

Now, we will subtract and multiply as follows:  (22-2) * 5

(1) Initially, double-click on cell A3 to type your function

(2) Then, type:  =(A1-B1)*C1

 

Subtract and Multiply in Excel

 

(3) Press Enter:

 

Cells in Excel

Subtract, multiply and divide

Finally, we will review how to subtract, multiply and divide as follows:  (22-2)*5 – 10/2

(1) As before, double-click on cell A3 to type your function

(2) Then, type:  =(A1-B1)*C1 – 10/2

 

add, subtract, divide and multiply in Excel

 

(3) Finally, press Enter. The result of your operation will be displayed in cell A3:

 

Add, Subtract, Divide and Multiply in Excel 2010

 

We just reviewed the different types of arithmetic functions that you can preform in Excel.

If you want to learn more about the SUM function, check the post about the different ways in which you can sum values in Excel.

In general, there is a large number of different functions that you can execute in Excel, such as the Max function, or the VLOOKUP function.