How to Square a Number in Excel

Squaring a number in Excel might seem like a straightforward task, but there are various methods to achieve this goal, each with its own advantages. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different ways to square numbers in Excel. We’ll break down the process into two sections: one using formulas and the other employing functions. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform this fundamental mathematical operation with ease.

Squaring Numbers Using Formulas

In this section, we will delve into two distinct formulas for squaring numbers. These formulas involve utilizing the multiplication operator and the caret operator.

Formula Using Multiplication Operator

The multiplication operator is represented by the asterisk (*) symbol. Squaring a number is essentially multiplying it by itself, and Excel can effortlessly handle this with a simple formula. Let’s take a closer look:

We’ll use the following formula in our example:

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Here, B3 contains the number that we want to square. The formula reads as “B3 multiplied by B3.” For instance, if the value in cell B3 is 2, the calculation is as follows: 2 multiplied by 2.

However, you can also apply the formula directly without using cell references:

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This formula, in this case, returns the result directly, which is 4. It’s that simple!

Formula Using Caret Operator

The caret operator, represented by the symbol “^,” is also known as the exponent operator. If you recall mathematical expressions like “five raised to the power of two,” the caret operator is what’s at play. It signifies “raised to the power.” For example, 5 raised to the power of 2 becomes 5^2, effectively squaring the number 5.

Now that we’ve explored the basics of squaring numbers using formulas, let’s transition to the next section, where we’ll discuss the use of Excel functions.

Squaring Numbers Using Functions

In this section, we will introduce Excel functions that simplify the process of squaring numbers. Excel offers a dedicated function for squaring numbers, making your tasks even more efficient.

The POWER Function

The POWER function in Excel is a powerful tool for calculating the result of raising a number to a specific power. To square a number using this function, you can follow this format:


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=POWER(number, power)

  • “Number” is the value you want to square.
  • “Power” is the exponent to which you want to raise the number, which, in this case, is 2 for squaring.

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Suppose you have the number 3 in cell C4, and you want to square it. You can use the POWER function as follows:


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=POWER(C4, 2)

The result will be 9, which is 3 squared.

Now, you’ve not only learned how to square numbers using Excel formulas but also discovered an efficient function for this purpose.

Excel Squaring Methods: A Comparison

Let’s take a moment to compare the two methods discussed above: using formulas and functions.

Using Formulas

  • Formulas are simple and straightforward.
  • Ideal for quick calculations within the spreadsheet.
  • Require manual entry and modification if the numbers change.

Using Functions

  • Functions like POWER offer enhanced versatility and automation.
  • Suitable for scenarios where numbers may change frequently.
  • Less error-prone as they automatically update when the input numbers change.

Advantages of Squaring with Excel

Squaring numbers in Excel comes with a host of benefits:

  • Precision: Excel ensures accurate results, preventing human errors in calculations.
  • Efficiency: With formulas and functions, you can perform repetitive calculations quickly.
  • Automation: Excel functions update automatically, reducing the need for constant manual adjustments.
  • Versatility: Excel allows you to work with various data types and perform complex calculations alongside simple ones.

Also Read:

How To Omit The First Line In Excel Cell?

How to Add a Total Row in Excel?


Can I square a range of numbers in Excel?

Yes, you can apply the same formula or function to a range of cells. For example, if you have a list of numbers in cells B3 to B10, you can use the formula =B3*B3 in cell C3 and then drag the fill handle down to apply it to the entire range.

Can I square a number using a keyboard shortcut?

A2: Yes, you can quickly square a number using a keyboard shortcut. In a cell, simply type the number you want to square, then press the caret symbol (^), followed by the number 2 (e.g., 5^2). Press Enter, and Excel will calculate the square for you.

What if I need to square a number to a different power?

If you want to raise a number to a power other than 2, you can use the POWER function and specify the desired exponent in the formula. For example, =POWER(C4, 3) will calculate the cube of the number in cell C4.


Squaring numbers in Excel is a fundamental mathematical operation that can be executed in multiple ways. Whether you prefer using simple formulas with operators or taking advantage of Excel functions like POWER, Excel provides you with the tools to perform this task efficiently and accurately. By mastering these techniques, you’ll streamline your calculations and enhance your productivity in the world of Excel. So, embrace the power of Excel, and let it do the math for you!