Multiply numbers

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Let's say you want to figure out how much bottled water that you need for a customer conference (total attendees × 4 days × 3 bottles per day) or the reimbursement travel cost for a business trip (total miles × .46). There are several ways to multiply numbers.

What do you want to do?

Multiply numbers in a cell

Multiply a range of numbers by a number

Multiply numbers in different cells by using a formula


Multiply numbers in a cell

To do this task, use the * (asterisk) arithmetic operator.

For example, if you type the following formula in a cell:

=5*10

The cell displays the following result:

50

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Multiply a range of numbers by a number

Important This procedure replaces the numbers in the range with the result of the multiplication.

  1. In an empty cell, enter the number that you want to multiply by.
  2. Select the cell, and on the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. Select the range of numbers that you want to multiply.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
  5. Under Operation, click Multiply.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Delete the content of the cell entered in the first step.

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Multiply numbers in different cells by using a formula

To do this task, use the asterisk (*) operator or the PRODUCT function.

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
 
1
2
3
4
A
Data
5
15
30
Formula Description (Result)
=A2*A3 Multiplies the numbers in the first two cells (75)
=PRODUCT(A2:A4) Multiplies all the numbers in the range (2250)
=PRODUCT(A2:A4,2) Multiplies all the numbers in the range, and 2 (4500)

Function details

PRODUCT

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Applies to:
Excel 2003