Excel is a really powerful tool when we want to jump in and perform basic mathematical functions. A good example of this is when we want to square a number.
In this simple guide, we are going to run through 3 Easy ways to square a number using Excel.
We will cover:
- What is the square value of a number?
- Finding a square number by multiplying
- Finding a square number by using an operator
- Finding a square number using POWER
Let’s get started with a quick overview of what is means to square.
What is a square value?
A square value of a number is simply when we multiply it by itself. That’s it! There can be a bit more complexity in the concept itself, especially when we start looking at negative numbers, square roots, decimals and so on. Luckily there are super handy guides such as this one which go in depth in a really easy to understand way.
Let’s look at how we can perform this really easily using Excel. The great thing about using a tool such as Excel to square a value, is that we can perform this on thousands and thousands of values at once by simply dragging down our formula.
Let’s start with multiplication.
Squaring a number in Excel using multiplication
This is one of the more straight forward ways of squaring a number in Excel. Since unlike other mathematical functions we are literally multiplying a number by itself, we can actually just select the same cell in a spreadsheet twice!
An example formula would be as simple as:
Let’s look at a quick example of outputs below:
As we can see, by simply selecting a cell, using the * operator, and selecting the same cell again, we can very quickly calculate the square of a whole lot of numbers at once.
Let’s move on to the exponent operator.
Using an operator to square
Next up we have a formula where we have a bit more control over the output when we want to go beyond simply squaring. This can be really useful if we don’t just want to square a value but cube them for example.
To perform this formula we need to use an exponent operator. In excel this is the ^ symbol. An example of this would be:
Using the same series of numbers as above, this would look like the following:
As we can see, the outputs are exactly the same, just with a slightly different formula. Both this and the multiplication approach are pretty much interchangeable if we are just looking to square a value.
Finally, let’s move on to an excel function that has quite a bit of…. power (sorry…).
Finding a square value using POWER()
Finally, the third method is by using a purpose built function in Excel for finding a value to the power of X. In this case 2.
The POWER formula in excel simply takes an input of a value, followed by the number we want to raise by. The syntax is as follows:
Again using the above examples, our formula might look like the following:
With our same set of numbers that we have worked with already, this formula would then look like and output the below:
Again as we can see – super easy! Conceptually there isn’t really any difference between this and using the ^ operator – in pretty much all situations it just comes down to personal preference really.
This sums up our guide on how to square a number in Excel. We covered 3 different methods on doing so – all quite easy and all work just as well as each other.
For more handy guides on working with Excel, be sure to check out our Excel Tips page.