Updated July 5, 2023

## Introduction to Exponents in Excel

Exponents in Excel are one of the oldest concepts in Mathematics and are a very powerful one as you have to deal with powers. They are a shorthand notation for repetition or to depict how many times a number is multiplied by itself. E.g., 23 means we need to multiply 2 three times, i.e., 2 x 2 x 2, yielding the output 8.

The 2 in the above example is referred to as a base, while 3 is referred to as an exponent or power or index, and it is often read as 2 raised to power 3.

In the examples below, we will learn about the different techniques to use exponents in Excel and some more associated benefits.

### How to use Exponents in Excel?

We can use Exponents in Excel in different ways. Let’s understand How to use Exponents in Excel with some examples.

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #1

**Using POWER() function**

One of the basic methods to use Exponents in Excel is the POWER function. The function has two arguments, as shown below:

**POWER (number, POWER)**

So, if we want to write 2^{3,} we will write it as POWER(2,3).

Let’s see how it looks in Excel.

**Step 1:** Click on the cell where you wish to write the formula.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the destination cell.

And as you press **Enter**, you will get the desired output or result.

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #2

**Use of Nested POWER functions**

The above example was quite easy to understand the functionality of the POWER function. In this new example, we will learn the use of a power function inside another power function.

To understand the concept in depth, let’s solve a mathematical equation, and then we will learn how to do the same thing in Excel.

**(2 ^{3})^{4} = (2 x 2 x 2)^{4} = (8)^{4} = 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 = 4096**

We should note that the order of brackets is very important, and they can alter our results. We will see this in the below example using the above mathematical equation.

**Step 1**: Click on the cell where you want to insert the formula.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the selected cell.

And then, press **Enter**, and you will get the desired output or result.

In case we have something like (2)^{32, }then we need to use the below formula, and it will give us different results:

**Step 1**: Click on the cell where you want to insert the formula.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the selected cell.

Once you press **Enter**, you will get the desired output or result.

The above two examples clearly show the difference between (2^{3})^{4 }and (2)^{32}

Also, you can use multiple POWER functions as per the need.

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #3

**Using shorthand notation “^.”**

The other easy and most useful way to calculate exponents in Excel is by using the shorthand notation “^” as shown below:

Let’s assume we have the same example, 2^{3}, and we will write it as 2^3. Let’s see how we can write this up in Excel:

**Step 1:** Click on the cell where you wish to calculate.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the selected cell.

And as you press **Enter**, you will get the desired output or result.

This formula is simple from the POWER function, and it is very easy to use it.

**Using ^ for multiple exponents**

As we learned the use of multiple POWER functions above, similarly, we will learn the use of “^” for multiple exponents. As we have seen that the brackets play a crucial role in the calculations, we need to be careful while calculating such formulas. Now let’s take a glimpse at a few examples:

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #4

**Mathematical equation: **(2^{3})^{4}

Below are the steps that will lead our way:

**Step 1:** Click on the cell where you wish to calculate.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the selected cell.

As you press **Enter**, you will get the desired output or result.

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #5

For the numbers like (2)^{32}, we need to use the formula as shown below:

**Step 1:** Click on the cell where you wish to calculate.

**Step 2**: Enter the formula below in the selected cell.

When pressed **Enter**, you will get the desired output or result.

#### Exponents in Excel – Example #6

**Using Exponents as superscript**

In the above examples, we learn how to do calculations using Excel’s exponents. But sometimes, we have to use the exponents in textual cells, and we refer to them as superscripts, a character smaller in size than the other characters and slightly above the line we are typing.

Most of the time, the superscript text is used as a marker to differentiate the text or if we need to highlight any point.

In the below steps, we are going to learn how to write superscripts in Excel:

**Step 1:** Click on the cell where you wish to write.

**Step 2**: Click on the **Home** tab as highlighted below image:

**Step 3**: Under the **Home** tab, click on the dropdown next to General to select **Text**.

This will change the format of the cell to Text format.

**Step 4**: Now, type the text or number along with the exponent with space as shown below and Highlight the number we want to use as a superscript as shown below:

**Step 5**: Again, click on the Home tab and then click on the bottom-most arrow in the** Font** section to expand it as shown below:

**Step 6**: The pop-up window will appear. Then Select the** Superscript,** which is present under **Effects,** and press **OK.**

And after pressing **Enter,** you will get the desired output as shown below:

This is how we use exponents for different calculations and superscripts.

**Things to remember about Exponents in Excel**

- Using ^ notation for exponents is preferred compared to the POWER() function. But while using “^”, we need to be very careful with brackets as little here, and they can yield different results and might skew the other calculation dependent on the exponent.
- While using multiple
**POWER()**functions, we need to take care if we need the insert as a “number” or POWER argument. This is again a similar case as above in which the results will be different.

### Recommended Articles

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