Microsoft Excel 2013 uses functions to display the results of computations. The Insert Function option allows you to choose what you want to compute and helps you display the results. Learn how to use functions to multiply cells and columns in Excel.
In Excel, each box, or cell, is identified by the letter of the column followed by the number of the row. In the example, the cell that shows the price of a large, blue t-shirt is B4. Functions are denoted with the equals sign followed by what you want to show and what cells you want to use for the computation. Multiplication answers are called products. The function for multiplying in Excel is displayed as "=PRODUCT(X#:X#)."
Click the cell where you want the product displayed (showed here as D4). Click fx to open the Insert Function pop-up dialog box. Select PRODUCT and then click OK.
You can also type "multiply" in the Excel search box for help.
Depending on how your cells are arranged, Excel shows a logical guess as to the cells you want to multiply. In the example, Excel has chosen the two preceding cells in the row and shows them as B4:C4. If the cells are the ones you want, click OK. If you want different cells, enter the cells you want in the Function Arguments pop-up dialog box.
There are three ways to enter cells into the number fields.
- Type the cell location in the number field using its letter and number.
- Click the cell finder icon and then click the cell you want.
- Click the number field and then click the cell you want.
If you want to multiply two cells that are next to each other, you can use one number field instead of a number field for each cell by highlighting both.
Click OK to finish. The function displays in the function box and the answer displays in the cell you first selected (in this case, D4).
If the cell shows ##### instead of a number, the result is too large to be displayed in the width of the cell. Expand the width of the column until the number is displayed correctly.
Multiplying the Cells in One Column
To multiply all the cells in one column, choose the cell where you want the product (in this case, A33) and then click fx to open the Insert Function pop-up dialog box. Choose PRODUCT and click OK.
Highlight the cells you want to multiply in the column by clicking and holding as you move the cursor. The highlighted area will have a dotted line around it. Click OK.
If the two cells listed in the function are not next to each other, all cells in between the two cells are included. In this example, the function is =PRODUCT(A24:A31) to show that all the cells in the A column between rows 24 and 31 are multiplied together.
Multiplying the Cells in Two or More Columns
To multiply all of the cells in one column by all of the cells in another column, click first on a cell where you want the answer (in this case, C33). Click fx to open the Insert Function pop-up dialog box.
Click the Number 1 field and then highlight the cells in the first column.
Click the Number 2 field and then highlight the cells in the next column. Click OK to finish.
To multiply additional columns, repeat the process to highlight each column in a separate number field and click OK when finished.