## You are learning The Excel Interface

What is the order of operations (precedence) 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 operations in the correct order. Here's a breakdown of the order in Excel, which aligns closely with the PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) acronym used in mathematics:

1. Parentheses: Anything enclosed in parentheses is calculated first. This allows you to override the default order and group specific calculations within a formula.

2. Exponentiation (powers): Calculations involving exponents (numbers raised to powers) are performed next.

3. Negation: Positive/negative signs (+/-) are applied to numbers before multiplication and division.

4. Percentage (%): Percent values are converted into decimals before other operations.

5. Multiplication and Division (from left to right): Multiplication and division are performed next, working from left to right. If multiple multiplications or divisions appear consecutively, they are evaluated from left to right.

6. Addition and Subtraction (from left to right): Addition and subtraction are performed last, again working from left to right.

Example:

Let's consider the formula `=10 * 2 + 3 ^ 2 - 5`. Here's how Excel would evaluate it based on the order of operations:

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

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

3. Negation: No negation signs are present.

4. Percentage: No percentages are present.

5. Multiplication and Division: `10 * 2` is calculated before moving to addition/subtraction, resulting in 20.

6. Addition and Subtraction: Finally, `20 + 9 - 5` is evaluated, resulting in 24.

So, the final answer for this formula would be 24.

Using Parentheses for Control:

Remember, parentheses are powerful tools to control the order of operations. For instance, the formula `=(10 * 2) + 3 ^ 2 - 5` would produce a different answer (31) because the multiplication within parentheses is calculated first.

Understanding the order of operations is essential for writing accurate and efficient Excel formulas. By following PEMDAS and using parentheses strategically, you can ensure your formulas produce the desired results.