# Tag Archives: Calculations

Here’s a quick but very useful Excel tip.  It is especially helpful when performing calculations on lengthy columns. Give this tip a try to see if you like this method better than dragging the fill handle down, which is the method used by many who work with Excel daily.  It is easy and very fast!

In Excel the formula =10+20+30+40/4 will render a solution of 70; I think you would agree that 70 is not the average of the four numbers you have added together and then divided by the number of numbers you added (average).  However, =(10+20+30+40)/4 will render a solution of 25, which is, in fact,  the average of the four numbers.  How is one formula different from the other?  It is related to the order in which calculations are performed in formulas.

Does anyone remember hearing his/her Junior High and/or High School Math teacher mention the phrase, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally?”  If so, you may also remember that this phrase is important in remembering the order in which formulas are interpreted. The following is the order in which mathematical operators and syntax are applied both in Excel and in general mathematics:

1. Parentheses
2. Exponents
3. Multiplication
4. Division