You may or may not be a fan of maths, but you cant deny the fact that you need the knowledge of basic arithmetic to survive. What do I refer to when I say basic arithmetic? Well it is simply the big four functions namely addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. When you are shopping, you need to be able to calculate the total cost of the items you intend to purchase and check if the money on you is sufficient. You also need to be able to subtract the amount of the items you are purchasing from the total amount you would tender to the cashier to ensure that you are not cheated. In this post, we would take you through how to go about the big four arithmetic functions in Excel. Let’s begin:

## How to Add in Excel

Addition in excel can be done in two ways. One is by using the sum or auto sum function and the other is by using the plus function ( **+ **). Let’s go through the two methods below:

### Auto Sum in Excel

If you have numbers arranged contiguously, you can either auto sum with a single click in the home tab, or you can use a Key combination which we would discuss later in this post. First, let’s see the steps for auto summing using the auto sum button in the home tab.

#### Auto sum through home tab

In our example for this section, we have 5 people we need to get apples for and we have to find the totals so that we can take a single target to the market.

**Step 1:** Select the cell you need the auto sum to appear in. This would be cell C9 in our case.

**Step 2:** Navigate to the home tab > Editing Group > AutoSum > Sum

**Step 3:** The Autosum function appears in the cell you selected in the first step. Just press enter and you are done.

**Result:**

#### AutoSum through keyboard shortcuts

By using the keyboard combination below, you don’t need to go through the home tab > Autosum > Sum, that’s about 2 or 3 seconds of your time saved. To autosum using your keyboard, imply use the combination **Alt + =**

### Normal Addition in Excel

#### Using the Plus Symbol

If you have basic knowledge of mathematics, you would be aware of the symbol for addition which is (**+**). This also works for excel. All you need to do is select each cell you want to add and put **+** in between these cells as seen below.

#### Using the Sum function

In addition to using the (+) symbol, you can also use the Sum function to add up cells in excel by selecting cells and putting a comma (,) after each selection. Let’s demonstrate by adding up the number of apples we need to get for Jake, Ryan & Isabella only.

## How to Subtract in Excel

In the previous section, we touched on the symbol for addition being used for adding up numbers in excel. The same goes for subtraction in excel. We are able to use the minus symbol ( **–** ) to carry out subtractions. Let’s take an example by building on the previous data.

Assuming we have 25 apples in our store, how many more apples would we need to buy from the market to meet the demands of our 5 guests? Easy, just subtract using the minus symbol as seen below.

## How to Divide in Excel

As a financial analyst you cant do without division in excel. Mainly because it is needed to calculate percentages, which are in turn used for all sorts of forecasts. Building on our previous example under using the sum function, we calculated the number of apples needed for 3 people namely Jake, Ryan and Isabella. Now let’s calculate the percentage of their share to the total.

To calculate the percentage of their share to the total, all we need to do is to select the addition of the 3 people as discussed above, and then divide it by the total using the division symbol ( **/** ).

## How to Multiply in Excel

Multiplication is also commonly used in financial modeling and it is a must know if you want to prepare models. There are two main ways of carrying out a simple multiplication in excel, the first is by using the asteriks (*) symbol and the second is by using the Product Function.

### Using the asteriks symbol

To multiply cells using the asteriks symbol, all you need to do is to select each cell you want to multiply and type an asteriks immediately after your selection. However, please note that there should be no asteriks after the last cell you select.

Using our previous example, let’s assume that the price of one apple is $1.5, how much would it cost us to purchase the 28 additional apples we need to purchase to be able to satisfy the demands of our 5 guests? Easy, please see the guide below:

### Using the Product Function

Multiplication by using the product function is also as simple as multiplication by using the asteriks. To begin, you type in **=Product(** and excel guides you by telling you to select or input number 1, number 2 and so on. Let’s see what we are talking about below: