Excel is a robust spreadsheet program from Microsoft that makes it simple to work with numbers and different values.

woman uses the subtract function in excel

Whereas Excel incorporates quite a lot of energy, it’s additionally fairly helpful for easy addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

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Actually, Excel’s easy formulation make it simple so as to add and subtract numbers and cell values with out breaking out a calculator.

How you can Use Subtract Operate in Excel

Lots of Excel’s strongest capabilities come through the usage of capabilities, that are a form of predesigned system.

For instance, the SUM operate robotically sums or totals a spread of cells with out you having to manually add every cell to the earlier one. 

Sadly, there isn’t a SUBTRACT operate in Excel. That’s as a result of subtracting is without doubt one of the best issues you are able to do in a spreadsheet. 

I‘ve discovered that performing subtraction in Excel is so simple as coming into a easy mathematical system. Excel does the remainder. 

The system for subtracting one quantity from one other begins with an equal signal and appears like this:

=value1 – value2

It doesn’t get a lot simpler than that. You possibly can subtract discrete values or the values contained in particular person cells. 

For instance, let’s say I wish to put an aquarium in my dwelling so I can take pleasure in tropical fish.

I made a spreadsheet of the completely different duties I want to finish and the way a lot I count on every buy to value. I then collect the receipts to notice what I really spent. We’ll use subtract to see if my anticipated prices match actuality. 

Step 1: Sort an equal check in a cell.

You subtract numbers and cell values in Excel utilizing a easy system. In Excel, each system begins with an equal signal, so place your cursor within the cell the place you wish to present the answer and enter the next:


subtract in excel, step 1

Step 2: Add the primary cell handle.

Place the cursor after the equal and both manually enter the primary cell handle or use your mouse to pick out the primary cell. You must now see one thing like this:


subtract in excel, step 2

Step 3: Enter a minus signal.

Place the cursor after the primary cell handle and enter a minus signal, like this:


Step 4: Add the second cell handle.

Place the cursor after the minus signal and both manually enter the second cell handle or use your mouse to pick out the second cell. You now have the next system:


subtract in excel, step 4

Step 5: Press enter to the answer.

Press enter to enter the system, and the answer is displayed within the cell. After working the system on each line in my sheet, I can see that I accomplished my aquarium with $236 to spare. 

subtract in excel, step 5

Ideas for Subtracting in Excel

You’re not restricted to subtracting only one cell from one other. In my expertise, I’ve discovered that Excel can carry out many several types of subtraction.

For instance, you’ll be able to subtract whole rows and columns, in addition to cell ranges. Listed below are three recommendations on how you can get probably the most out of subtracting in Excel.

How you can Subtract A number of Cells

You’re not restricted to easy subtraction in Excel. You possibly can subtract a number of cells from a single cell by stringing collectively further cell addresses with minus indicators.

For instance, to subtract cells C13 by way of C 18 from B12, use the system:


subtract in excel, example

You could possibly additionally write this as subtracting a spread of cells from the primary cell. On this occasion, you’d use the vary B2:B4 and enter this system:


subtract in excel, example

Simply enclose the vary you’re subtracting inside parentheses. 

How you can Subtract Whole Columns

Chances are you’ll wish to subtract all of the values in a single column from all of the values in one other column. That is simply accomplished by copying the system from a single cell to all of the cells within the resolution column.

Merely enter your subtraction system into the primary cell in a brand new column. Then, copy that system to the opposite cells within the column by dragging the nook of the primary cell down the column.

All of the cells in subsequent rows will subtract the identical two relative cells as within the first system.

For instance, if you happen to copy the system =D1-C1 downward by way of a column, the cells in every subsequent row would include the formulation:




And so forth. 

subtract in excel, column

How you can Subtract the Similar Quantity From a Column of Numbers

Excel additionally allows you to subtract the identical quantity or cell worth from all of the cells in a column. You do that by locking the repeated quantity with greenback indicators ($). 

Let’s say you wish to subtract the worth in a given cell from a spread of cells. For our instance, assume the cell you wish to subtract is G1. 

You possibly can’t simply enter G1 after which copy the system as a result of Excel will change the referenced cell as you copy the system.

As a substitute, it is advisable lock G1 into the system by utilizing greenback indicators ($) in entrance of the row and column referenced by coming into $G$1.

This tells Excel to at all times reference cell G1, regardless of the different values within the system. You find yourself with one thing like this:


Professional tip: You possibly can then copy that system down a complete column, subtracting the mounted quantity from every cell in that column.

To study much more about Excel, take a look at our article on How to Use Excel Like a Pro. This convenient article incorporates 29 highly effective suggestions, tips, and shortcuts that can make Excel much more highly effective. 

Getting Began

Excel consists of highly effective arithmetic capabilities, together with the power to subtract numbers and cell values. Excel makes easy subtraction as simple as writing numbers on a blackboard.

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