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Google Sheets Formulas

How to Do Math in Google Sheets

In this article, you will learn how to create simple formulas and run basic math calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in Google Sheets.

How do you do basic calculations in Google Sheets?

You can calculate math by combining signs and numbers in a cell or signs and cells where numbers are filled in. Look at the following four signs below, which are called operators. These are used to form a basic mathematical calculation in Google Sheets.

Addition: “+” (a plus sign)

Subtraction: “-” (a minus sign)

Multiplication: “*” (an asterisk)

Division: “/” (a forward slash)

In addition to these marks, you can use Google Sheets functions, such as the ADD, MINUS, MULTIPLY, and DIVIDE formulas, instead. Also, in Google Sheets, there are more advanced formulas that allow you to calculate values easily or under specific conditions.

How to do addition in Google Sheets

Assume you want to run the calculation of one plus one.

  1. Select a cell you want to show the calculation result.
  2. Type “=”, “1”, “+”, and “1” (manual input), or instead, select a cell containing 1, type “+”, and select another cell containing 1 (cell reference).
  3. You can see the computed result of “2” in the cell.

Alternatively, you can insert the ADD formula when you add up two numbers. You can enter the SUM function to aggregate more than two values. The picture below shows some patterns to conduct addition for two or more values.

How to add in Google Sheets with examples

Reference the following articles to learn more about the ADD and SUM formulas.

How to Use Sum Function in Google Sheets

ADD Function in Google Sheets: Explained

How to do subtraction in Google Sheets

Assume you want to run the calculation of deducting one from two.

  1. Select a cell you want to show the calculation result.
  2. Type “=”, “2”, “-”, and “1” (manual input), or instead, select a cell containing 2, type “-”, and select another cell containing 1 (cell reference).
  3. You can see the computed result of “1” in the cell.

Alternatively, you can insert the MINUS formula when deducting a number from another. If you need to do subtraction for more than two values, you should use the minus sign repeatedly. The picture below shows some patterns to conduct subtraction for two or more values.

How to subtract in Google Sheets with examples

Refer to the following article to learn more about the MINUS formula.

MINUS Function in Google Sheets: Explained

How to do multiplication in Google Sheets

Assume you want to run the computation of multiplying one and two.

  1. Select a cell you want to show the calculation result.
  2. Type “=”, “1”, “*”, and “1” (manual input), or instead, select a cell containing 1, type “*”, and select another cell containing 2 (cell reference).
  3. You can see the computed result of “2” in the cell.

Alternatively, you can insert the MULTIPLY formula when multiplying two numbers. If you need to do multiplication for more than two values, you should use the asterisks repeatedly or the PRODUCT function. The picture below shows some patterns to conduct multiplications for two or more values.

How to multiply in Google Sheets with examples

Read the following posts to learn more about the MULTIPLY and PRODUCT formulas.

MULTIPLY Function in Google Sheets: Explained

PRODUCT Function in Google Sheets: Explained

How to do division in Google Sheets

Assume you divide two by one.

  1. Select a cell you want to show the calculation result.
  2. Type “=”, “2”, “/”, and “1” (manual input), or instead, select a cell containing 2, type “/”, and select another cell containing 1 (cell reference).
  3. You can see the computed result of “2” in the cell.

Alternatively, you can use the DIVIDE formula when dividing two numbers. If you need to divide more than two values, use the forward slashed repeatedly. The picture below shows some division patterns for two or more values.

How to divide in Google Sheets with examples

Move to the following page to learn more about the DIVIDE function in Google Sheets.

DIVIDE Function in Google Sheets: Explained

How to use parentheses in Google Sheets

Next, learn how to use parentheses “()”. They are helpful when you need to prioritize a part of a calculation because, in Google Sheets, multiplication and division are prioritized more than addition and subtraction, as in the real world. Assume a series of calculations of “=1+2*3-4/2.” Without any parentheses, the formula returns 5. If you want to calculate “1+2” first, then multiply 3, and deduct 2 (=4/2), you need to write the formula like this: “=(1+2)*3-4/2.”, which returns 7. If you want to compute “1+2*3-4” first and then divide the result by 2, you can input a formula of ”=(1+2*3-4)/2”, which returns 1.5. You can see what they look like in the middle of the screenshot below.

Lastly, you can replace specific numbers in a formula with cells filled with numbers.

This is easy to do. You need to combine cells (instead of specific numbers) with signs as you do for the cases of numbers and signs. See some examples below in the screenshot as well.

Basic mathematic formulas in Google Sheets

Can you use formulas in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can use a lot of formulas in Google Sheets. Go to the “Insert” tab, and move to the “Function.” You can see an organized list of functions (formulas) you can use in Google Sheets. Once you select one of the functions and enter it in a cell, you can see more guidance on the procedure (e.g., what kind of inputs are required in the formula and what the order of the information should be). Check out some useful mathematical or statistical formulas in the next section. 

What are the other formulas related to mathematics and statistics

If you don’t get the solution you are looking for in this article, or you have further questions related to mathematics or statistics, you may find the answers in the following articles.

Go to the following articles to learn basic formulas in Google Sheets.

How to Sum Numbers in Google Sheets

How to Use SUMPRODUCT Formula in Google Sheets

How to Use MAX Function in Google Sheets

How to Use MIN Function in Google Sheets

How to Use MEDIAN Function in Google Sheets

How to Use AVERAGE Formula in Google Sheets

How to Use MODE Function in Google Sheets

MOD Function in Google Sheets: Explained

Navigate to the pages below to learn how to sum, count, or average numbers with a condition or multiple conditions. 

How to Use SUMIF Function in Google Sheets - sum up the numbers that meet a criterion

SUMIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - sum up the numbers that meet multiple criteria

How to Use COUNTIF Function in Google Sheets - count the number of cells that meet a requirement

How to Use COUNTIFS function in Google Sheets - count the number of cells that meet multiple requirements

AVERAGEIF Function in Google Sheets: Explained - average the figures that meet a standard

AVERAGEIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - average the figures that meet multiple standards

AVERAGE.WEIGHTED Function in Google Sheets: Explained - use this formula to calculate the weighted average

MAXIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - seek for the maximum value that meets specific criteria

MINIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - seek for the minimum value that meets specific criteria

Visit the following post if you are interested in learning how to count the number of specific cells.

COUNT Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of cells containing numeric values (except for blank ones)

COUNTA Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of cells incorporating all types of values containing text and date, except for blank ones

COUNTBLANK Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of blank cells

COUNTUNIQUE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of unique cells

You can learn about other Google Sheets formulas and tips that are not mentioned here on this page: LiveFlow‘s How to Guides

Analyze your live financial data in a snap

Are you learning this formula to visualize financial data, build a financial model, or conduct financial analysis? In that case, LiveFlow may help you automate manual workflows and update numbers in real-time. You can access various financial templates on our website, from the simple Income Statement to Multi-Currency Consolidated Financial Statement. You can also customize these templates as you want without breaking the automated data inflow.

To learn more about LiveFlow, book a demo.

Automate any custom financial dashboard in Google Sheets with LiveFlow

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