In Excel complex formulas can include several operations. Use complex formulas in Excel to calculate more extensive data.
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Simple formulas have one mathematical operation. Complex formulas involve more than one mathematical operation.
Simple formula: =2+2
Complex formula: =2+2*8
To calculate complex formulas correctly, you must perform certain operations before others. This is defined in the order of operations.
The order of mathematical operations is important. If you enter a formula that contains several operations, Excel knows to work those operations in a specific order. The order of operations is:
A mnemonic that can help you remember this is Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (P.E.M.D.A.S).
Using this order, let's see how the formula 20/(8-4)*8-2 is calculated in the following breakdown:
Is the answer 12 or 9? Well, if you calculated in the order in which the numbers appear, 3+3*2, you'd get the wrong answer: 12. You must follow the order of operations to get the correct answer.