This Ready Reference article lists and describes the operators used in Excel worksheet expressions, their order of precedence in calculation and the types of data returned by each operator in an expression.

Operator evaluation proceeds from left to right in an expression, except that evaluation of operators with a higher precedence to the right of the current operator occurs before those lower precedence operators to their left.

The table below sets out a simple list of the operators and their precedence.  For more detail on the operators, how they are evaluated, the value types they work on and the errors they return, refer to the Ready Reference 4 article.

The number in the "Precedence" column below indicates relative precedence in calculation.  Entries with the same number have equal precedence in calculation.

 Precedence Operation Operator Symbol Symbol Name Resul Type Required on Left Required on Right Reference Operators 8 Range : Colon Reference Reference Reference 8 Intersection Space Reference Reference Reference 8 Union , Comma Reference Reference Reference 8 Implicit Intersection @ At SIgn Reference none Reference 8 Spill Range # Hash or Pound Reference Reference none Numeric Operators 7 Unary Negation - Minus Sign or Hyphen Number none Number 6 Percentage % Percentage sign Number Number none 5 Expponent ^ Caret Number Number Number 4 Multiplication * Asterisk Number Number Number 4 Division / Slash Number Number Number 3 Addition + Plus Sign Number Number Number 3 Subtraction - Minus Sign or Hypen Number Number Number Text Operator 2 Concatentation & Ampersand Text String Text String Text String Comparison Operators 1 Equality = Equal Sign Logical Any Any 1 Inequality <> Left and Right Angle Brackets) Logical Any Any 1 Less Than < Left Angle Bracket) Logical Any Any 1 Less Than or Equal To <= Left Angle Bracket and Equal Sign) Logical Any Any 1 Greater Than > Right Angle Bracket) Logical Any Any 1 Greater Than or Equal To >= Right Angle Bracket and Equal Sign) Logical Any Any

##### Parentheses in Expressions

Parentheses can be used within an expression to force the evaluation of an expression with lower precedence, before operators with higher precedecnce are evaluated.
For example, the expression =2+1*3 will retunr 5.  The expression =(2+1)*3 returns 9.

##### Checking Evaluation Order

If you are ever uncertain of how Excel approaches a calculation, you can use the Evaluate Formula tool from the Formulas ribbon tab (not currently available on the Mac version of Excel) to execute an expression step by step and see the order in which calculations are resolved.