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Master the Parentheses: A Guide to Using Parentheses in Excel

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Are you tired of staring at your Excel spreadsheet trying to figure out how to put parentheses around certain cells? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! Think of parentheses in Excel as a hug around your data – they help organize and clarify your information, and can even make certain calculations easier to read.

To add parentheses in Excel, simply select the cell(s) you want to insert them around and type an open parenthesis “(” in front of the desired data, followed by a closing parenthesis “)”at the end of the data. If you want to insert parentheses around an entire formula, just place your cursor inside the formula and follow the same steps. And just like that, you’ve successfully given your data a hug! Remember, using parentheses can not only make your spreadsheet look more professional, but it can also help make your content easier to read and understand.

Adding Parentheses to Excel
Source www.teachexcel.com

Understanding Parentheses in Excel

Parentheses are commonly used in mathematical expressions to form a group of calculations or formulas that must be executed before other operations. In Excel, parentheses function the same way. The use of parentheses can help you achieve your desired calculation result while also avoiding automation errors.

Why Parentheses are Important in Excel

When Excel evaluates a formula, it follows a specific order of calculation operations as defined by the operator precedents. However, this order may not always correspond to the results you want. For example, you may want to multiply two numbers together before adding them. The use of parentheses will allow you to control the order of evaluating your arithmetic operations so that Excel computes the desired result to avoid error.

Adding parenthesis in Excel

Adding parentheses in Excel is quite simple, and there are two ways to do it.

Method 1: Manually adding parentheses

To manually add parentheses in Excel, you need to select the cell where you want the result of the calculation. Start the formula with an open parenthesis “(“. Then, use the standard arithmetic operator symbols (+,-,/,*) between the values you want to group. Continue entering the rest of the formula, using brackets as appropriate to group the required calculations. Then close the parenthesis with “)”.

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For example, to specify that Excel should multiply A3 by B3 before adding the value to the amount in cell C3 when creating a formula in cell D3, you can use the following syntax:


Method 2: Using Excel quick parentheses

Excel also provides a quick parentheses tool that inserts a pair of parentheses around the selected cell or range of numbers. To utilize the quick parentheses, you’ll first have to select the cell or range of cells you want to include. Next, type the open parenthesis where you want to add it or hit “Shift” + “9” on your keyboard. Finally, select the range of cells that you want to be included in the parentheses and close the parentheses with a “)” or hit “Shift” + “0” on your keyboard.

Using Parentheses in Excel Formulas and Functions

There are several ways to use parentheses in Excel formulas and functions. Let’s go through some of them briefly:

1. Order of calculation adjusting

As mentioned earlier, parentheses are essential in Excel because they allow you to specify the order of calculation. Using parentheses allows you to execute multiplication or division before addition or subtraction in an Excel formula. You can control the order of calculations in Excel by enclosing them in parentheses.

2. Nesting Functions

You can use parentheses to nest functions or group multiple levels of calculation in a formula. Nesting functions involve using one function as a parameter of another function. Using parentheses properly helps ensure that each function gets the correct argument. When nesting functions, include the calculation that will produce the result you want to use as the parameter inside parentheses. This will help you avoid calculation errors and get the correct calculation result.

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3. Creating Array Formulas

You can use parentheses to create an array-formula; this kind of formula operates on a group of values at once, rather than one value at a time. To initiates an array formula, you first begin with an open bracket and then enter your customary formula, separated with commas or semi-colons. Then close with the closed bracket. You then turn your formula into an array formula by pressing “CTRL” + “Shift” + “Enter”


Parentheses in Excel are essential tools that help you control the order of calculation. They’re also useful when you want to evaluate formulas during the calculation process, and when you want to nest. Parenthesis provide you with a quick and easy way of automating Excel to suit your needs by preventing Excel from making erroneous calculations and ensuring you get your desired result.

Using Parentheses in Functions

Excel functions are powerful tools that simplify complex calculations in spreadsheets. To use a function, you must enter it in a cell with proper arguments surrounded by parentheses. In this section, we will discuss how to use parentheses in functions in Excel.

Defining Arguments in Functions

Arguments are the values, cell references, or ranges that a function uses to perform its calculations. Parentheses are used in Excel functions to define the range of cells to be included in the calculation. Let’s take the example of the SUM function.

( A1:A4 )
The sum of cells A1:A4

In this example, we have used parentheses to define the range of cells A1:A4 to be included in the sum calculation. The SUM function will add up the values in all the cells within this range and display the result in the cell where we enter the function.

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Multiple Arguments in Functions

Excel functions can also take multiple arguments, separated by commas. Parentheses are used to group these arguments together. Let’s take the example of the IF function.

( A1>5, “Yes”, “No” )
If the value in cell A1 is greater than 5, the function will return “Yes”, otherwise “No”.

In this example, we have used parentheses to group the three arguments of IF function together. The first argument checks if the value in cell A1 is greater than 5, and if true, returns “Yes”. If false, the second argument is used and returns “No”.

Mathematical Operations in Functions

Parentheses are also useful in performing mathematical operations in Excel functions. By using parentheses, you can define the order in which the calculations will be performed. Let’s take the example of the following formula:


In the first calculation without parentheses, Excel will first multiply 3 and 5, and then add the result to 2. The result is 17. However, in the second calculation with parentheses, Excel will first add 2 and 3, and then multiply the result by 5. The result is 25.


Parentheses are essential in defining arguments, grouping multiple arguments together, and performing mathematical operations in Excel functions. By using them correctly, you can efficiently perform complex calculations in your spreadsheets. Keep in mind the examples discussed above, and you will be well on your way to mastering Excel functions with parentheses.

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