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### Using Arithmetic Operators for Simple Math

To perform direct mathematical operations in a formula (as opposed to using Excel's built-in functions), you use arithmetic operators. Arithmetic operators in a formula tell Excel which math operations you want to perform. Arithmetic operators were discussed earlier in this chapter.

A simple formula might consist of adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing cells. Excel can also perform exponentiation, so you can enter a number and exponent (such as 54, or 5 to the fourth power), and Excel will use the ultimate value of the exponent in the formula calculation. You can use percentages in a formula the same way—instead of entering 25% as a fractional value (25/100) or a decimal value (0.25), you can enter 25% in a formula; Excel will calculate and use its decimal value in the math operation.

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