What Are Valid Excel Arithmetic Operators? Credit: Roberto Westbrook/Blend Images/Getty Images

The valid arithmetic operators in the program Microsoft Excel are the plus sign, minus sign, asterisk, forward slash, percent sign and caret. The plus sign is used to perform addition, while the minus sign is used for subtraction and negation. The asterisk is for multiplication, while the forward slash is for division. The percent sign turns numbers into percentages, and the caret is used for exponentiation.

Excel also has comparison operators, text operators and reference operators. Formulas in Excel begin with an equal sign, which tells the program that the next characters are a formula. The program performs operations in formulas in a specific order of operators. It goes from left to right for each level of operators in the formula. It starts with any reference operators. Then, it does the negations, and next the percent. The program then does the exponentiation, the multiplication and division, and the addition and subtraction in that order. The program then evaluates the text operators and finally the comparison operators. The order of operations that the Excel program uses can be changed using parentheses. The part of the formula to be calculated first must be enclosed in parentheses if it does not follow the order of operators.

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