## You are learning The Excel Interface

How does the order of operations (precedence) work in Excel formulas?

Excel formulas follow a specific order of operations, also known as precedence, to determine the calculation sequence. This ensures the formula performs the intended operations in the correct order. Here's a breakdown:

Order of Precedence:

1. Parentheses: Anything enclosed in parentheses is calculated first. You can use parentheses to group operations and override the default order.

2. Exponentiation (^) and Negation (-): Excel performs exponentiation (powers) and negation (minus sign before a number) next.

3. Percentage (%): Percent (%) calculations are done at this stage.

4. Multiplication (*) and Division (/): Multiplication and division are performed from left to right, regardless of which operation comes first.

5. Addition (+) and Subtraction (-): Addition and subtraction follow, also calculated from left to right.

6. Concatenation (&): The ampersand (&) symbol is used for text concatenation (joining text strings) and is evaluated last.

7. Comparison and Logical Operators: Logical operators (>,<,=, etc.) are evaluated after the arithmetic operations.

Example:

Let's see how the order of operations affects the result:

Formula: `=10 * 2 + 3 ^ 2 - 5`

Breakdown:

1. Parentheses: There are no parentheses in this formula.

2. Exponentiation: `3 ^ 2` is calculated first, resulting in 9.

3. Multiplication and Division: `10 * 2` is done next, resulting in 20.

4. Addition and Subtraction: Following the order, Excel performs `20 + 9 - 5`, resulting in a final answer of 24.

Using Parentheses to Change Order:

If you want Excel to perform calculations in a different order, you can use parentheses to group specific operations. For instance, in the formula `=(10 * 2) + 3 ^ 2 - 5`, the calculation inside the parentheses (`10 * 2`) happens first, resulting in 20, and then the rest follows the standard order, ultimately giving an answer of 29.

Tips:

* Remember the order of operations using PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction).

* Use parentheses liberally to ensure your formulas produce the desired results, especially when combining multiple operations.

* Excel will display a tooltip with the evaluated formula if you hover your mouse over the formula bar. This can help you check if the calculations are happening in the intended order.

By understanding the order of operations, you can write clear and accurate formulas in Excel.