Spreadsheet - Arithmetic expressions

October 2016


Arithmetic expressions are simple expressions built with arithmetic operators and constants or references to cells. Operands are the values upon which the operator acts. There are two types of arithmetic operators:

  • Unary operators that act upon just one element; using only one operand located on the right of the operator. For example:
  • Binary operators that act upon two elements (using two operands, one located on either side of the operator). For example:
    =B4 + A6

Arithmetic Operators

Arithmetic operators are as follows:

Operator Name Type Description
+ Addition Operator Binary Adds two values
- Subtraction operator Binary Subtracts two values
- Inversion Operator Unary Gives the opposite value of a value
* Multiplication operator Binary Multiplies two values
/ Division operator Binary Divides two values
^ Power operator Binary Multiplies the left operand to the specified power shown by the right operand
% Modulo operator Binary Gives the remainder of the whole division of two numbers

Use of Parenthesis

Arithmetic operators are used in a predefined order or priority. To modify the predefined priority, parenthesis must be used. Here is a table that shows the priority of the operators:

Operator Priority
++++++ ()  
+++++ %  
++++ ^  
+++ -  
++ * /
+ + -

When two operators have the same priority, the calculation is performed from left to right.

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