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How do I multiply in Excel?

To an Excel expert, this is extremely easy – but it’s a commonly searched-for question on Google, so let’s get stuck in. Once you’re familiar with this technique you will have a much better understanding of how Excel works. (The technique is exactly the same in Google Sheets).

So let’s start off with a very simple calculation; 4 x 2. The number 4 is in cell A1, and number 2 is in cell A2:

To begin with, you need to understand that multiplication in Excel is a kind of formula, and whenever you type a formula in Excel you must begin it with the equals symbol =, and the formula is after the equals sign.  Secondly, you need to know that the symbol for multiply in Excel is not x, it is * (the star symbol).  So if we want the answer to this sum to be in cell A3, we click in cell A3 and type:

=A1*A2

and then press ENTER on your keyboard:

After you’ve pressed enter, the result of the calculation will be in cell A3:

So in effect, we have said to Excel “in cell A3, calculate the answer to what’s in cell A1, multiplied by what’s in cell A2”

Another way of multiplying in Excel:

A more direct way of doing this is to “hard code” in the numbers into the cell – that might sound complicated but in fact it is even more simple than the above method.  Let’s take the exact same calculation of 4 x 2.  Simply click in any cell, and type in

=4*2

(remembering to start your formula with an equals sign) =

Press ENTER on your keyboard, and you’ll see the result of the calculation in the cell:

Once you get the hang of these two methods, you’ll be performing all kinds of calculations in Excel and Google Sheets.  Try replacing the star symbol * with + for addition,  – for subtract, or / (slash) for divide.

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