In Excel complex formulas can include several operations. Use complex formulas in Excel to calculate more extensive data.

#### To create a complex formula using the order of operations:

In the example below, we'll use **cell references **along with **numerical values** to create a complex formula that will calculate the **subtotal** for a catering invoice. The formula will calculate the cost of each menu item first, then add these values.

- Select the
**cell** that will contain the formula. In our example, we'll select cell **C5**. - Enter your
**formula**. In our example, we'll type **=B3*C3+B4*C4**. This formula will follow the order of operations, first performing the multiplication: **2.79*35** **= 97.65** and **2.29*20 = 45.80**. It then will add these values to calculate the total: **97.65+45.80**. - Double-check your formula for accuracy, then press
**Enter** on your keyboard. The formula will calculate and display the **result**. In our example, the result shows that the subtotal for the order is **$143.45**.

You can add **parentheses **to any equation to make it easier to read. While it won't change the result of the formula in this example, we could enclose the multiplication operations within parentheses to clarify that they will be calculated before the addition.

Excel **will not always tell you** if your formula contains an error, so it's up to you to check all of your formulas. To learn how to do this, you can read the Double-Check Your Formulas lesson from our Excel Formulas tutorial.