An exponent describes the power you raise a number to. These are easy to calculate with spreadsheets. Let’s learn how to work with exponents in Microsoft Excel.
How to Find Exponents in Microsoft Excel
Excel offers multiple great ways to work with exponents. Let’s look at three: finding an exponent of any number, raising existing numbers to a certain power, and working with the POWER formula.
Imagine that you want to raise five to the third power. In other words, you want to multiply 5 x 5 x 5. That, of course, is one way to perform the calculation. But imagine that you wanted to raise to the fiftieth power. There’s no reason to perform the math manually.
Begin by finding an empty cell in your worksheet. Type =, and then 5. The equal sign tells Excel you’re building a formula. Next, you’ll want to insert the caret symbol. It looks like this, ^, and you’ll find it on the 6 key on your keyboard.
Finally, insert the power you want to raise your number 5 to. Here, that’s 3. Your finished formula looks like this:
Hit Enter on your keyboard, and Excel will return the solution: 125.
Now, imagine that you already have a number on your spreadsheet, and you want to raise it to a power.
Find an empty cell again, and type =. Then, click on the cell containing the number. Finally, add the ^ symbol and type in the power.
Hit Enter. You’ll see your solution appear in the new cell.
Finally, Excel has a POWER formula. Let’s raise three to the fourth power. In an empty cell, type =POWER(, then 3,4).
Hit Enter, and you’ll see the solution: 81.
All three of these quick formulas help you work with exponents quickly inside Excel. Use them any time you’re raising numbers to powers large or small.