# The Excel MDETERM Function

Determinant of a Matrix

The Determinant of a square matrix is a measure of scale.

For the following 2x2 and 3x3 matrices:

The determinant of the 2x2 matrix, A, is :

and the determinant of the 3x3 matrix, B, is:

det(B) = a(ei - fh) + b(fg - di) + c(dh - eg)
Further details of the Matrix Determinant are given on the Wikipedia Determinant Page

## Function Description

The Excel Mdeterm function calculates the determinant of a square matrix.

The syntax of the function is:

MDETERM( array )

where the array argument is an array of numeric values, that represent a square matrix (i.e. has the same number of rows as columns).

## Mdeterm Function Examples

The examples below show the Excel Mdeterm function, used to calculate the determinant of a 2x2 and a 3x3 matrix.

### Example 1 - 2x2 Matrix

AB
152
271

The above spreadsheet on the right shows a simple 2x2 matrix. The determinant of this matrix can be calculated using the Excel Mdeterm function as follows:

=MDETERM( A1:B2 )

This gives the result -9.

### Example 2 - 3x3 Matrix

ABC
1642
2353
3234

The determinant of the simple 3x3 matrix aboveon the right can be calculated using the following Excel Mdeterm function:

=MDETERM( A1:C3 )

This gives the result 40.

For further details and examples of the Excel Mdeterm function, see the Microsoft Office website.

## Mdeterm Function Error

If you get an error from the Excel Mdeterm Function, this is likely to be the #VALUE! error:

Common Error
 #VALUE! - Occurs if either:The supplied matrix contains blanks or non-numeric values;The supplied matrix has unequal numbers of rows and columns.