Order of Operations on Excel (and VBA)
Order of operations refers to the order in which the computer solves a formula/equation. All computer
languages operate in the same method and the operations are carried using the same rules as in
mathematics. The order of operation for basic mathematical calculations is as follows:
Priority
Calculation/Operation
Top Most
Parenthesis
()
Multiplication and division
*, /
Least
Addition and Subtraction
+, 
Example 1:
Consider the example calculation shown below:
The above equation has two calculations (or operations) occurring in the same formula (addition,
subtraction). The way excel works through this calculation is by starting the calculation from left to right.
1.
Excel first looks for the “=” sign to confirm that it is a calculation.
2.
It checks from left to right to find the operator with higher priority (listed above). In this case we
only have addition and subtraction, which have the same priority in mathematics.
3.
In such a case (operators with same priority), excel does the calculation from left to right in
accordance with the calculation sequence shown below.
Calculation Sequence:
Step1: Check for equal sign 
Cell R2C4 = 2 + 6 – 5
Step2: Find operator with highest priority –
All operators with equal priority in this case
Step3: Perform the first calculation from the left – Cell R2C4 = 2 + 6 – 5
Cell R2C4 =
8
– 5
Step4: Find operator with highest priority –
Only one operation
Step5: Perform the first calculation from the left – Cell R2C3 = 8 – 5
Cell R2C4 =
3
Step6: No calculation remaining, display the solution
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 Spring '08
 staff
 Algebra, Addition, Multiplication, operation, Shift key

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