# Multiply

In mathematics, **multiply** or **times** is a mathematical operation that adds a number multiple times. Multiply can be represented by an "x," interpunct (·), or the asterisk (*). For example, with 3 x 5 it's the same as adding the number three five times (3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3) or five three times (5 + 5 + 5) to get 15. With multiplication, the formula's numbers are known as "factors," and the answer is known as the "product." So, in our earlier example, "3" and "5" are the factors, and "15" is the product.

To multiply numbers on a computer or smartphone a calculator or spreadsheet could be used.

## How to multiply in a spreadsheet

To multiply in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, you can use the asterisk and the cells you want to multiply in a formula, as shown below.

=A1*B1

You can also use the SUM function to perform the same function, as shown below.

=SUM(A1*B1)

Placing this formula in cell C1 shows the total of the value in cell A1 multiplied by the value in B1. If either cells values changed the total value would also change automatically.

There is no "multiply" function in excel. In other words, you cannot type =MULTIPLY(A1*B1).

If you wanted to multiple the values in three our more cells, use the PRODUCT function. For example, if you wanted to multiply all cells in the cells A1 through A5 (i.e., A1 * A2 * A3, etc)., you could use the following formula.

=PRODUCT(A1:A5)

## How to multiply in computer programming

With computer programming, the asterisk can multiply a number or numbers stored in a variable as shown in the following Perl code.

use strict; my $first = 3; my $second = 5;

my $answer = $first * $second;

print "You get $answer if you multiply $first by $second";

When the above script is run it would return "You get 15 if you multiply 3 by 5" printed to the screen.

## Writing a multiplication symbol in HTML

When writing the times symbol in HTML (HyperText Markup Language), use the HTML entity × in your code to better represent the symbol. This entity shows as "×" instead of "x." See our extended HTML page for further information and other entities.