# How to Multiply Numbers and Columns in Excel – A Beginner’s Guide

The tutorial explains how to multiply in Excel by using the multiplication symbol and functions, how to create a formula for multiplying cells, ranges or entire columns, how to multiply and sum, and more.

While there is no universal multiplication formula in Excel, there exist a few different ways to multiply numbers and cells. The below examples will teach you how to write a formula best suited for your specific task.

Multiplying numbers and columns in Excel is a common task many of us need to do. Whether you’re calculating expenses forecasting sales or analyzing data, basic multiplication is essential.

Fortunately, Excel makes multiplying simple with various formulas and functions. In this beginner’s guide I’ll show you several quick and easy ways to multiply in Excel.

## Multiply Two Numbers

To multiply two numbers in Excel:

1. Type the first number in a cell (ex: 5 in A1)

2. Type the multiplication symbol (*)

3. Type the second number (ex: 10)

4. Press Enter

This multiplies the two numbers together, displaying the result (50 in this example).

Here are a few examples

• =5*10 yields 50
• =0.5*100 yields 50
• =B3*C4 multiplies two cell values

Remember to always start formulas with an equal sign (=). The asterisk is the multiplication operator in Excel.

## Multiply Columns Using Formulas

You can also multiply entire columns of numbers rather than just individual values.

To multiply two columns:

1. Type the formula =A2*B2 in cell C2

2. Copy or drag the formula down to the other cells in column C.

This multiplies each row’s values in columns A and B, displaying the results in column C.

For example:

Column A Column B Column C
2 5 =A2*B2
10 3 =A3*B3

Results:

Column A Column B Column C
2 5 10
10 3 30

The key is using cell references like A2 and B2 rather than actual numbers in the formula.

## Multiply Columns with the PRODUCT Function

For multiplying larger column ranges, use the PRODUCT function. The PRODUCT function multiplies arrays of numbers together in one formula.

The formula is:

=PRODUCT(array1, array2, …)

For example, to multiply A1:A10 by B1:B10, use:

=PRODUCT(A1:A10, B1:B10)

This is easier than multiplying each individual cell.

## Multiply Columns by a Constant Number

To multiply a column by a fixed number, use that number value in the formula instead of a cell reference.

For example, to multiply column A by 5, use:

=A1*5

Make sure to lock the 5 value using absolute references like:

=A1*\$E\$1

When you copy or drag this formula down column B, the 5 will stay constant.

## Multiply without Formulas Using Paste Special

If you don’t want to use formulas, you can multiply by pasting values and applying the multiply operation.

To do this:

1. Copy the column to multiply (or number to multiply by)

2. Select the target cells

3. Right click > Paste Special > Multiply

This will paste and directly multiply the values into the target cells without formulas.

## Common Errors When Multiplying in Excel

Here are a few common errors to avoid when multiplying in Excel:

• Forgetting the equal sign (=) at the start of formulas

• Using the letter x instead of the asterisk (*) operator

• Multiplying cells without referencing them in the formula

• Not dragging formulas down to additional rows properly

• Getting #REF! errors from deleting rows or columns

Double check your multiplication formulas and references to avoid these mistakes.

## Keyboard Shortcuts for Multiplication

To speed up multiplying in Excel, use these handy keyboard shortcuts:

• = – Inserts equal sign to start a formula

• *** – Inserts multiply symbol in a formula

• Ctrl + Shift + Down – Copies formula down to other cells

• Ctrl + Shift + Right – Copies formula across to other columns

Leverage these to save time when multiplying.

## Multiplying Matrices in Excel

You can also multiply matrices (multiple rows and columns of numbers) using the MMULT function.

For example, to multiply:

1 2
3 4

…and…

5 6
7 8

…use the formula:

=MMULT(A1:B2, C1:D2)

This returns a 2×2 result matrix with the multiplied values.

Matrix math is powerful for advanced analytical applications.

## Interactive Multiplication Templates

For learning or teaching basic multiplication skills, use Excel’s interactive multiplication table templates.

These allow entering two numbers to automatically generate a multiplication table in Excel.

Great for helping students practice and master multiplication facts quickly.

There are many options for multiplying numbers and columns in Excel – basic arithmetic, functions like PRODUCT, pasting with multiply, and more.

Follow the steps outlined here the next time you need to quickly multiply values, ranges, or entire columns together in Excel.

Mastering basic multiplication is an essential Excel skill that unlocks wider data analysis and modeling capabilities. Combine it with division, addition, subtraction, and other core skills to become a spreadsheet power user.

The examples above should get you started multiplying like a pro in no time. For more practice, download the Excel file below with worked examples.

## Multiply function in Excel (PRODUCT)

If you need to multiply multiple cells or ranges, the fastest method would be using the PRODUCT function: PRODUCT(number1, [number2], …)

Where number1, number2, etc. are numbers, cells or ranges that you want to multiply.

For example, to multiply values in cells A2, B2 and C2, use this formula:

`=PRODUCT(A2:C2)`

To multiply the numbers in cells A2 through C2, and then multiply the result by 3, use this one:

`=PRODUCT(A2:C2,3)`

The screenshot below shows these multiplication formulas in Excel:

## How to multiply by percentage in Excel

To multiply percentages in Excel, do a multiplication formula in this way: type the equals sign, followed by the number or cell, followed by the multiply sign (*), followed by percentage.

In other words, make a formula similar to these:

• To multiply a number by percentage: `=50*10%`
• To multiply a cell by percentage: `=A1*10%`

Instead of percentages, you can multiply by a corresponding decimal number. For example, knowing that 10 percent is 10 parts of a hundred (0.1), use the following expression to multiply 50 by 10%: `=50*0.1`

As shown in the screenshot below, all three expressions yield the same result: