The Basics of the POWER Function in Microsoft Excel

The POWER functions in Microsoft Excel computes a given numerical value raise to a supplied exponent or power. The formula of the POWER function is:

POWER (number, power)

In this formula, the power and number arguments are number values. These arguments can be entered in the formula either as a cell reference which contain the numeric value or as a value returned from other formulas or functions.

But you have to take note that the POWER function in Microsoft Excel is similar to the power operator (^). For example, POWER (5, 3) is similar to 5^3.

This free Excel help article will provide you some examples for you to learn more about the usage of the POWER function in Microsoft Excel.

  • For example, the numerical value 2 is contained in cell A1 and cell B1 contained a numerical value of 3. Take note the value that will be calculated is 2 and 3 is the exponent or power. You can enter the POWER function formula in cell C1, =POWER (2, 3). The function will return the result which is 8.
  • The numerical value of 5.5 is contained in cell A2 and 3 are contained in cell B2. Then you can type in the function formula in cell C2, =POWER (A2, B2). Remember that you can also use the cell references containing the numerical values instead of the actual number. Then the POWER function will return the result which is 166.375.
  • Finally, cell A3 contains the numerical value of 2 and cell B3 contains a value of 0.5. The function formula should appear like this, =POWER (A3, B3). The function will return the result which is 1.414213562.

However, if you have an error from the POWER function, the function will return the result which is #VALUE!. This result is displayed if Microsoft Excel is not able to interpret either of the number or power arguments as numeric values.
For a better understanding of the topic, here is a detailed procedure on how to use the POWER function in Microsoft Excel.

  • First of all, type in the numerical values in your Excel spreadsheet. These are the numbers you want to calculate raised to some power or exponent, the exponent you want to raise a numerical value to, or both.
  • Then enter the POWER function formula in a cell where you want the result to be displayed. Again, the formula for the functions is, =POWER (number, power).
  • Finally, you can alter the format of the output cell to “Scientific” if the result is an extremely low or high number. By doing this, the result will be converted to scientific notation so you can avoid displaying a result containing a long string of zeros.

With the POWER function in MS Excel, it will be easy for you to calculate a given number raise to some power or exponent. You can use this function to get the square of a number, the cube of a number and so on. It is also possible to raise numerical value to fractional powers, for example, “11 raised to the power of 3.8”.

We hope that this free Excel help article helped you. If not, please take a look at the the other articles available, and look at teh free Excel help videos. If you still need assistance either understanding what was discussed here, or other Excel and Access help services, such as training or conulting, please contact us directly and we can help you, and please remember, Excel 2013 (Excel 15) will be release soon, and you will want to prepare for that. Christopher at 877-392-3539.