Addition and subtraction can be easily done in Microsoft Excel. Learn how to subtract in Excel in this article.
Microsoft Excel is a widely used tool all over the world. People use it for all kinds of things and managing data and doing big calculations is one of them. But do you know that there really isn’t a subtract function in Excel however there are multiple ways of doing it?
We know that Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet tool used to store numerical data and perform numerous tasks such as calculating average, multiplication, and more.
How To Subtract In Excel
Let us learn about this trick.
Subtracting Cells/Values in Excel
Here’s a simple example to begin with, where we have two values ( 200 and 100) and we want to subtract these.
Here is how to do this:
- Select the cell where you want to subtract and enter an equal to sign (=)
- Enter the first value
- Enter the subtraction sign (minus sign -)
- Enter the second number
- Press Enter
These steps would do the calculation in the cell and give you the result.
Instead of entering the values manually, you can use the reference of the cell.
Suppose you have two values in cell B1 and B2 (as shown below), and you want to subtract the value in cell B2 from the value in cell B1.
Here is the formula that will do this: =B1-B2
And you have your answer after the subtraction.
Subtracting a Value from an Entire Column
In case you have a list of values in a column, and you want to subtract one specific value from that entire column, this is how you would do it.
You have a data set as shown below and you want to subtract the value 10 from each cell in column A.
Below are the steps to do this:
1. In cell B2, enter the formula: =A2-10
2. Copy cell B2
3. Select cells B3 to B12
4. Paste the copied cell
Once you do these steps, you can see that Excel will copy the formula in cell B2, and then apply that to all the cells where you pasted the copied cell.
Subtracting a Cell Value from an Entire Column
We can use the above-mentioned concept to subtract a value in a cell from an entire column.
In case, you have a dataset as shown below where you want to subtract the value in cell D2 with all the cells in column A.
These are the steps to do this:
1. In cell C2, enter the formula: =A2-$D$2
2. Copy cell C2
3. Select cell C3 to C12
4. Paste the copied cell
By using the formula A2-$D$2, it makes sure that when one copies the formula for all the other cells in column C, the value that you are subtracting remains the same, which is cell B2.
By adding a dollar before the column alphabet and the row number, it makes sure that in case you copy the cell with this reference and paste it somewhere else, the reference would still remain $D$2. This is called absolute reference (as these don’t change).
Similarly, on copying this formula in cell C3, it would become A3-$D$2, and in cell C4, it would become A4-$D$2.
Microsoft Excel allows users to format, organize, and calculate data in a spreadsheet. Many professionals, including data analysts, and other users can make information easier to examine as data is added or altered by filtering data using software like Excel.
In Excel, there is no built-in formula for subtraction or minus. In Excel, we perform arithmetical subtraction using the minus operator (-). We also need to utilize the equals to operator to create the formula for subtracting two values from one another.
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