**Introduction**

In this lesson, you will learn how to perform multiplication equations using Excel.

This video illustrates the lesson material below. Watching the video is optional.

**The Star Key**

In Excel, the star key (

*****), also known as the star symbol, is used to indicate multiplication. Anytime the star key is used, think “multiplied by.”

**Example 1**

3*2

- In cell
**A1**, type the equal sign (**=**). - Type the first number (
**3**). - Type the star key (
*****). - Type the second number (
**2**). - Press
**Enter**to calculate the equation.

Figure 1

Figure 2

**Using Parentheses in Multiplication**

Consider an equation that uses parentheses (). The order of operations tells you to complete whatever calculation is in the parentheses first.

In algebra, if there are no other symbols next to them (such as a +, -, or /), parentheses also tell you to multiply whatever is in them by whatever is next to the parentheses. A number or variable next to a parenthesis means multiplication, but in Excel you need to include the star symbol (*) too.

**Example 2**

- In
**A2**, type the equal sign (**=**). - Type
**3**. - Type the star key (
*****). - Type the given numbers and operation within parentheses:
**(2 + 5)**. - Press
**Enter**to calculate the equation.

Figure 3

**Referencing Cells in Multiplication**

The contents of two cells can be multiplied together by referencing the cells and using the star symbol (

*****) between the cell names. If you have 6 in cell

**A1**and 5 in cell

**A2**, you can calculate the equation in a third cell (

**C2**) using the cell references.

**Example 3**

- In cell
**C2**, type the equal sign (**=**). - Type in the coordinates for the cell with the first number (
**A1**). - Type the star key (
*****). - Type in the coordinates for the cell with the second number (
**A2**). - Press
**Enter**to calculate the equation.

**Example 4**

Rather than having to type out the coordinates of each cell, you can also select the cell you want to reference.

- In cell
**C2**, type the equal sign (**=**). - Select the cell that has the first number (
**A1**). - Type the star key (
*****). - Select the cell that has the second number (
**A2**). - Press
**Enter**to calculate the equation.

Figure 4

When you reference a different cell in an equation, the referenced cell will turn a different color. This is Excel’s way of confirming that you are using the cell you want to use.

Anytime you want to see what equation was used to get a number, you can click on the cell, and Excel will show the equation in the formula bar.

Figure 5

If you double-click on the cell, the equation will be shown within the cell.

If you referenced a cell and want to change some numbers in an equation, you can simply change the number in the referenced cell, and the equations you have already computed will change automatically.

For example, after multiplying 6 by 5 you will get the answer 30. To see what 6 multiplied by 3 equals, instead of recreating the entire equation again, you can simply change the number in one of the cells. In this example, you would change the number in cell **A2** to be **3 **rather than 5, and then press **Enter **to find the new result.

Figure 6

**Things to Remember**

- The star key (*) means “multiplied by.”
- If an equation is in parentheses, that equation needs to be completed first.
- In Excel, if you would like to multiply something in parentheses by another number, you must use the star key (*).

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