Excel Operators

Most of the Excel Operators perform Mathematical operations, such as addition, multiplication, etc. However, Excel also has the & operator, which is used to concatenate text strings.

Mathematical Operators

The Excel Mathematical Operators and the order in which they are evaluated are shown in the table below:

Operator Action Precedence
(1=top; 3=bottom)
^ The power operator 1
* The multiplication operator 2
/ The division operator 2
+ The addition operator 3
- The subtraction operator 3

Precedence of Mathematical Operators

The table above shows that the power operator has the greatest precedence, followed by the multiplication and division operators, and then the addition and subtraction operators. Therefore, when evaluating Excel Formulas that contain more than one mathematical operator, the power operators are evaluated first, followed by multiplication and division operators. Finally, the addition and subtraction operators are evaluated after the evaluation of the power, multiplication and division operators.

The order in which these operators are evaluated makes a huge difference to the result of your Excel Formulas. However, brackets can be used to force parts of a formula to be evaluated first. If a part of a formula is encased in brackets, the bracketed part of the formula takes precedence over all of the above listed operators. This is illustrated in the following examples:

Formula Result
=1+2*3+4 11
=(1+2)*(3+4) 21
=3^2*2 18
=3^(2*2) 81

The & Operator

The Excel & Operator works for text strings. This operator joins text strings together, to make a further, single text string.

& Operator Example

The following formula uses the & operator to combine the text strings "string1", ", " and "string2"

= "string1" & ", " & "string2"

The result of the above formula is, the single text string:

"string1, string2"