Basic math in Excel

Basic math in Excel 2013

Work anywhere from any device with Microsoft 365

Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere with the latest features and updates.

Upgrade now
Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Let Excel be your calculator. This video shows you how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in your workbook.

Want more?

Use AutoSum to sum numbers

Sum numbers by creating a formula

Let Excel be your calculator.

With a simple formula, Excel can perform calculations on numbers using operators, such as the + sign, and functions, such as SUM.

To add numbers, you use the + sign.

A formula always starts with an = sign.

If I, then, type a number, a + sign, another number, and then press Enter, the cell displays the results.

You can add many numbers this way, not just two.

Instead of typing numbers in a formula, you can reference cells that contain numbers to make adding a bit easier and more flexible.

A4 is equal to 6, A5 is equal to 3.

I'll create a formula that adds the cells.

As with all formulas, I start again with the = sign, click a cell, type a + sign, then another cell, and press Enter.

And if I change a number in a cell, the result of the formula automatically updates.

When you double-click a cell, you can see right in the cell if it is a formula, like A6, or a number, like A4, or you can click a cell and look up here in the Formula Bar.

Subtracting is similar to adding, except you use the - sign.

Click a cell, then a - sign, then another cell, and press Enter.

Multiplying is similar to adding or subtracting, except you use an *.

Don't use an X for multiplying; that won't work.

Click a cell, then an *, then another cell, and press Enter.

Dividing is similar to multiplying, except you use a /.

Click a cell, then a /, then another cell, and press Enter.

Up next, Using functions.

Need more help?

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Got It
Get instant Excel help
Connect to an expert now
Subject to Got It terms and conditions

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.