# Use Calculation Operators in Excel Formulas

Operators specify the type of calculation that you want to perform on the elements of a formula. Excel follows general mathematical rules for calculations, which is Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction, or the acronym PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally).

Using `()` (parentheses) allows you to change that calculation order.

There are four different types of calculation operators in Excel: arithmeticcomparisontext concatenation, and reference.

## Arithmetic operators

To perform basic mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division; combine numbers; and produce numeric results, use the following arithmetic operators.

Arithmetic operator Meaning Example
`+` (plus sign) Addition `=6+2`
`–` (minus sign) Subtraction
Negation
`=6–2`
`=-6`
`*` (asterisk) Multiplication `=6*2`
`/` (forward slash) Division `=6/2`
`%` (percent sign) Percent `60%`
`^` (caret) Exponentiation `=6^2`

## Comparison operators

You can compare two values with the following operators. When two values are compared by using these operators, the result is a logical value: either `TRUE` or `FALSE`.

Comparison operator Meaning Example
`=` (equal sign) Equal to `=A1=B1`
`>` (greater than sign) Greater than `=A1>B1`
`<` (less than sign) Less than `=A1<B1`
`>=` (greater than or equal to sign) Greater than or equal to `=A1>=B1`
`<=` (less than or equal to sign) Less than or equal to `=A1<=B1`
`<>` (not equal to sign) Not equal to `=A1<>B1`

## Text concatenation operator

Use the ampersand (`&`) to concatenate (join) one or more text strings to produce a single piece of text.

Text operator Meaning Example
`&` (ampersand) Connects, or concatenates, two values to produce one continuous text value `="Micro"&"soft"` results in "`Microsoft`".
Where A1 holds "Last name" and B1 holds "First name", `=A1&", "&B1` results in "Last name, First name".

## Reference operators

Combine ranges of cells for calculations with the following operators.

Reference operator Meaning Example
`:` (colon) Range operator, which produces one reference to all the cells between two references, including the two references. `A2:B10`
`,` (comma) Union operator, which combines multiple references into one reference `=SUM(A2:B10,E2:D10)`
` ` (space) Intersection operator, which produces one reference to cells common to the two references `B3:D9 C2:C11` results: `C3:C9`.