Excel Operator Precedence

Excel weighs priorities (precedence) for different operators while calculating the result of a formula. When we use many different operators in a complex formula, Excel considers different operators with different priorities (precedence).

For example, let us consider an example of the formula =3+5*4. There are two different possibilities for the result of the formula.

  • (3+5)*4 = 8*4 = 32
  • 3+(5*4) = 3+20 = 23

Refer below image.


Note that Excel has selected the second possibility in above list, that is 3+(5*4) = 3+20 = 23. In other way, Excel has given more precedence (priority) for the multiplication operator, when compared with addition operator.

Following table lists Excel operator precedence.

Operator Description Order of Precedence
: Range reference operator 1st
<space> Intersection reference operator 2nd
, Union reference operator 3rd
- Negation mathematical operator 4th
% Percentage mathematical operator 5th
^ Exponentiation mathematical operator 6th
* and / Multiplication and division mathematical operators 7th
+ and - Addition and subtraction mathematical operators 8th
& Concatenation text operator 9th
=, <, >, <=, >=, <> Comparison operators 10th

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