Subtraction in Excel (Table of Content)
Subtraction in Excel
Subtraction means you are taking something away from a group. As per the mathematics, there are three parts in the subtraction equation.
e.g. In the problem 6 – 4 = 2, the number 6 is called as the minuend, the number 4 is called subtrahend, and the number 2 is the difference.
Currently, in excel, there is no specific or in built universal Subtraction function or formula in excel to perform subtraction between two numbers, you have to use the dash (-) or minus sign symbol which is a subtraction sign or arithmetic operators to subtract between two numbers
Below mentioned arithmetic operators are used to perform the calculation in excel.
With the help of dash (-) symbol, you can quickly subtract between numbers, cells, entire rows, and columns.
Subtraction is the opposite to addition process. It is an operation performed on a pair of numbers in order to obtain or derive a difference between two numbers.
SUM function is also helpful in Subtraction where it subtracts all the numbers given as a range of values in arguments and returns the desired output
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How to do Subtraction between Numbers and other Values in Excel
Let’s check out how the SUBTRACT works in Excel. To do subtraction between two or more numbers in Excel, you can create a formula.
The criteria to create a formula for subtraction in excel is
- It should always begin with an equal sign (=).
- The formula is entered in a cell where you want the result to appear.
- Subtraction sign in excel is the dash (-) which is an arithmetic operator
- Subtraction can be done by entering the numbers which you want to subtract directly into a formula eg. =6-4 results or returns the value 2
It can also be done by entering or using cell references or addresses in the formula
e.g. =B16-C16, in the below mentioned example returns the value 4
An advantage of using a cell reference
- When cell references are used instead of the actual data or number in a formula. Later, the cell reference data in the formula can be replaced or changed to get the desired output. In this scenario, here you do not have to write a complete formula once again. Results of the formula update automatically when the cell reference or data changes.
How to Use the Subtraction in Excel?
Subtraction is very easy to use. Let us now see how to use the Subtraction in Excel with the help of some examples.
Subtract in Excel – Example #1
Subtraction of numbers in a cell
In the below mentioned example, I have a number in a cell “B8” & “C8”. I need to create Subtract formula in a cell “D8” to derive a difference between two numbers
Type the equal sign “=” in the cell D8 to begin the formula, where you want to get equation’s result
You can enter the numbers directly which you want to subtract directly into a formula i.e. =6-4
Subtraction sign in excel is the dash (-) which is an arithmetic operator used after entering number 6, and enter another number after the dash (-) i.e. 4
Press the Enter key to complete the formula. The answer 2 appears in cell D8.
Subtract in Excel – Example #2
Subtraction with cell reference or address in the formula
In the below mentioned example, I have a number in cell “B16” & “C16”. I need to create Subtract formula in cell “D16” to derive the difference between two cell references or numbers
Type the equal sign “=” in the cell D16 to begin the formula, where you want to get equation’s result
You can enter the cell references directly which you want to subtract directly into the formula i.e. =B16-C16
Subtraction sign in excel is the dash (-) which is an arithmetic operator used after entering first cell reference “B16” and enter another cell reference after the dash (-) i.e. “C16”
Press the Enter key to complete the formula. The answer 4 appears in cell D16.
Subtract in Excel – Example #3
Subtraction with the help of sum function
If there are huge numbers in a dataset, it will be difficult to do subtraction with a specific number. SUM function will help out to shorten your formula.
In the below mentioned example, I have a set of numbers in a range of cell “I6” TO “I10”. and I want to do subtraction with cell reference “K6” i.e. 60.
I need to create Subtract formula along with sum function in cell “K9” to derive a difference between cell range reference & give a specific number.
Type the equal sign “=” in the cell K9 to begin the formula, where you want to get equation’s result
An initial step is to do the addition of a set of numbers in a range of cell “I6” TO “I10” by using sum function. Where you can enter the cell range references in the SUM function argument directly.
After entering the sum function argument, add Subtraction sign i.e. dash (-) which is an arithmetic operator used after entering Sum function and enter another cell reference after a dash (-) i.e. “K6” which you want to subtract.
=SUM(I6:I10)-K6 will returns the value 182 i.e. It is the difference value between numbers in a range of cell & 60
Subtract in Excel – Example #4
Subtraction between two dates
It is very easy to subtract dates in Excel. We just have to enter an End date and Start date in individual cells and subtract one cell from the other i.e. End date with a Start date to get the desired output
You can also supply dates directly into formula or with the help of the DATE or DATEVALUE function.
=DATE (2018,12,20)-DATE (2018,12,01)
=DATEVALUE (“12/20/2018”)-DATEVALUE (“12/01/2018”)
Apply Subtraction Method i.e H16-I16
It will return 19 as a Result
Similarly, we find the other value
Note: End date should be used first, and later start date in the formula. otherwise, it will return a negative value.
Things to Remember About Subtraction in Excel
Excel has an order of Operations (when Using Parenthesis () & mathematical operations)
i.e. If anything, inside of parenthesis is calculated first in the formula. Later multiplication and division are performed next and at last Addition and subtraction
With the help of Subtract function, you can also find out the time differences between two-time values by using =End time – Start time formula. For this you have to select Time custom format “h:mm” from the Format Cells options.
Subtract formula also helps out to subtract percentage between two percentage values in Excel e.g. =100%-60% returns the value 40%
You can download this Subtraction Excel Template here – Subtraction Excel Template
This has been a guide to Subtraction in Excel. Here we discuss the Subtraction Formula and how to use Subtraction in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –