# How to do Exponents in Excel (The Easy Way)

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application that offers various methods for performing exponent calculations (essential for many mathematical, financial, and scientific tasks).

You can use the simple caret symbol, or Excel functions like the POWER of EXP function for exponential calculations in MS Excel 📝

Don’t know how to use them? No worries, grab your free practice workbook for this guide and let me walk you through different methods of performing exponential calculations in Excel.

Let’s slide in straight.

## Doing Exponents in Excel using the Caret Symbol

Excel has some specialized functions to calculate exponents but the quickest and simplest way to do exponents in Excel is to use the Caret Symbol (^). Looks like a small inverted ‘V’.

To quickly enter a power of 2 (like 2n) in Excel, you can write it as 2^n and Excel will calculate 2 raised to the power of that number for you 🥕

### Pro Tip!

The caret (^) symbol is used in Excel to represent exponents. It’s a simple and direct way to input exponential calculations, such as =2^3 to calculate 2 raised to the power 3 which makes 8.

How about we see a quick demo of doing this in Excel? See here.

Step 1) Activate a cell in Excel.

Step 2) Write the following formula in it.

Click to copy

Step 3) Press Enter.

Excel will raise 2 to the power of 3.

Try doing a variety of other numbers like that by writing an equal to sign + the base number + the caret symbol + and then the power.

The caret symbol is there on your keyboard on the number 6. Push down the Shift key and then press it to have it entered. This works for QWERTY keyboards.

Often, when you calculate the exponential power of a big number, say 8^12 or something of the sort, the result of which will be a long number, you’ll see the result expressed as a scientific notation instead of a complete number.

To help this, try changing the Cell Format to Number Format and resize the column to widen it such that the number fits into it.

Excel often displays the results in scientific notation to fit the cell or to improve readability.

## Doing Exponents in Excel using the POWER function

Excel’s POWER function is another way to perform exponentiation 💪

The POWER function is pretty straightforward. The syntax for the POWER function is:

Click to copy

Let me put it into action and show you how it works.

Step 1) Begin writing the POWER function as follows:

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Step 2) As the first argument, write the base number (i.e., 2).

Step 3) As the second argument, write the exponent (i.e., 3).

Click to copy

Step 4) Press Enter to calculate 2 to the power 3.

Easy, right?

You can also refer to cells containing these numbers (if need be) rather than hardcoding them into the POWER function.

Click to copy

This is how you do exponents in Excel using the POWER function 🤩

## EXP function of Excel for Exponential Growth Calculations

The EXP function in Excel is used to calculate the exponential value of the constant e (approximately equal to 2.71828) raised to the power of a given number.

The syntax of the EXP function is even simpler:

Click to copy

For example, =EXP(1) returns the constant e raised to the power of 1.

### Pro Tip!

What is this e and why is it equal to 2.718 only?

The number e (approximately 2.71828) is a fundamental mathematical constant known as Euler’s number. It is the base of the natural logarithm and has a wide application in mathematics, especially in calculus.

Mathematically, e is the limit of (1+1/n)^n where n reaches infinity. As you calculate this limit, the value converges to approximately 2.71828. This specific value arises naturally from the properties of exponential growth and compound interest. It is an irrational number whose decimal expansion goes on forever without repeating.

Hence, you’ll see it widely used for defining and solving differential equations, and in the study of growth and decay processes, for modeling continuous probability distributions, such as the normal distribution, for calculating compound interest and understanding exponential growth.

Here’s how you use it in Excel.

Step 1) Begin writing the EXP Function as follows:

Click to copy

Step 2) Write the number you want to raise the constant e to the power of. For example, we are writing in 2.

Click to copy

Step 3) Press Enter.

Excel will calculate the value of e raised to the power of 2 🙌

Alternatively, you can refer the cell containing this number to the EXP function as follows:

Click to copy

The EXP function is particularly useful for exponential growth calculations in financial and scientific worksheets and for modeling exponential growth and decay in various fields such as physics and biology.

## How to write exponents in Excel

Until now, we have seen methods to calculate exponents in Excel. But sometimes, all you want is to write exponents in Excel rather than calculate them 🎭

For example, rather than calculating 2^3 = 8, you might only want to write 2^3.

• One way to do so can be using the caret symbol and simply typing it as 2^3.
• Another way to write powers is the 2n method (where n is a superscript that appears on top of 2 in a smaller font).

To achieve this in Excel:

Step 1) Write the base number and the power number in a cell with a space character in between.

Step 2) Double-click inside the cell to activate it.

Step 3) Select the number to be superscripted (i.e., 3).

Step 4) Go to the Home tab > Font Group > the small arrow towards the bottom right.

Or press the Ctrl key + 1.

This will launch the Format Cells dialog box 👇

Step 5) Go to the Font tab within the Format Cells dialog box.

Step 6) Check the box for Superscript under Effects.

Step 7) Press okay.

The selected number will now be superscripted as power.

Note that this is only for visual representation and more for display than calculations. Writing a number as superscripted will not automatically calculate the exponent for it.

## Conclusion

This guide enables you to explore a handful of exponential functions and advanced Excel techniques to do exponents in Excel. We have seen how to calculate exponents in Excel using the simple caret symbol, the POWER function, and the EXP function of Excel 🔋

Using the methods discussed above, you can master and expedite exponent calculations in Excel. After you’ve practiced all these methods to calculate exponents in Excel, try reading out the following Excel tutorials by Spreadsheeto to continue learning about exponential operations in Excel.