# How To Subtract In Excel: A Step-By-Step Guide

## Key Takeaway:

• Subtraction in Excel is a fundamental operation that allows users to subtract numerical data from selected cells, columns or rows. This makes it a valuable tool for data analysis, business operations and financial reporting.
• In order to subtract in Excel, users must first understand the basics of the software, how to select cells, and how to use different formulas and functions. Users should take the time to learn each method in order to find which one works best for their specific needs.
• Advanced techniques, such as using conditional formatting, can be used to visually highlight data that meets certain criteria or to fine-tune the look and feel of your data. These techniques can help users save time and improve the quality of their work in Excel.

Are you struggling to subtract in Excel? This guide will show you how to efficiently perform calculations, so you can get the desired result in no time. Read on to master the art of Excel subtraction!

## Understanding Excel Basics

Never used Microsoft Excel before? Intimidated? Me too! But I soon realized Excel is great for organizing and analyzing data. We’ll start with the basics, so we can understand the program and how to launch it. That way, later on in the guide we’ll be able to tackle complex functions. Here we go!

### Introduction to Microsoft Excel

Understand Excel! It’s a program used to organize and do calculations. Input data into cells that are in rows and columns. Learn the basics: open a new workbook, save and close.

Navigate different panes, create and format worksheets. Use filters or PivotTable to summarize data. Get proficient with Excel by practicing. Use online tutorials or Microsoft sample spreadsheets. Don’t miss out on opportunities due to not knowing this skill.

Lastly, launch Excel without searching your directories.

### How to Launch Microsoft Excel

To launch Microsoft Excel, follow these steps:

1. Find the icon on your desktop or in your installed programs.
2. Click to open it.
3. A blank workbook will appear.
4. To create a new worksheet, go to “File” in the top left corner then select “New”.
5. Choose a template or “Blank Workbook”.
6. Click “Create” to open your new worksheet.
7. Enter data by clicking each cell and typing.
8. With practice, you’ll get comfortable using Excel.
9. It’s an essential tool in many careers.
10. Now let’s dive into how to subtract in Excel!

## A Comprehensive Guide to Subtraction in Excel

Subtracting in Excel isn’t simple. This guide will tell you all about it. Let’s start! Select cells for subtraction and use the minus sign. Then, subtract multiple cells at once and make Excel subtraction effortless!

### Selecting Cells for Subtraction in Excel

Start by selecting the cell where you want the answer.

Type `=SUBTRACT(` into that cell without the quotation marks.

Then click on the cell with the number to subtract from.

Put a comma, then click on the cell with the number to subtract.

Close the parentheses and hit enter for the answer.

Multiple cells can be selected at once. Click and drag or use shift+click to select a range.

Name the range for easiness. It may seem hard, but these tips make it easy.

Using the minus sign for subtraction is another method without using functions.

### Using the Minus Sign for Subtraction

To Use the Minus Sign for Subtraction, first select a cell where you want to display the result. Then, type an equals sign followed by the value or cell reference you would like to subtract from and a minus sign (). Type the value or cell reference that you want to subtract. Finally, press enter.

It’s important to remember that the order of operations matters when using the minus sign for subtraction. The minus sign should always come after any other mathematical operators.

Always double-check your calculations before finalizing them. My friend made a mistake while Using the Minus Sign for Subtraction in Excel and got inaccurate results.

For multiple-cell subtraction, it’s more efficient to use a formula. We’ll go over this in the next section.

### Subtracting Multiple Cells at Once

Excel can help you subtract multiple cells in one step. Here’s how:

1. Pick the cell where you’d like the result.
2. Type an equals sign (=) in that cell.
3. Click on the first cell you want to subtract, add a minus sign (-), and then click the second cell.

That’s it! Excel will show the result in the cell you selected.

To subtract more than two cells, simply carry on the same process by adding a minus sign and selecting additional cells. Do this as many times as needed.

It’s important to remember that Excel works left-to-right when subtracting multiple cells. For example, if you have values in A1, B1, and C1 and type “=(A1-B1-C1)“, Excel will subtract B1 from A1 first, and then C1 from the result.

Don’t miss out on these great Excel features! Get practicing now and see how they make your work easier.

Next: Subtracting with Formulas in Excel.

## Subtracting in Excel Using Formulas

Excel is amazing! Everyone uses it daily for a variety of tasks. Subtracting is a fundamental part of using Excel. But it can be tricky if you don’t know how to do it without a calculator. Have no fear! Excel offers 3 formulas that make subtracting easy. In this section, I’ll show how to use them. You’ll see how great Excel is and save time!

### Using the SUM Formula for Subtraction

Subtracting in Excel isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. But, the SUM formula can work great!

Start by selecting a cell for the result. Enter “=” to start the formula. Then, add the number or cell reference you want to subtract from. Afterwards, type a minus sign (-). Lastly, type in the number or cell reference you’re subtracting.

For example, to subtract 5 from 10, type “=10-5” into a cell and press enter. Result: 5.

Using SUM for subtraction is a bit strange since it’s usually for adding. But, by entering a negative value after the starting number or reference, you’re telling Excel to subtract instead of add.

This works well for basic subtraction calculations, but gets tricky with multiple subtractions or large data sets.

One possible use for this method is when dealing with financial data. For example, if your company had \$10 million revenue and \$5 million expenses, use this to calculate the net profit by typing “=10-5” into a new cell.

Another method for subtraction is the MINUS formula in Excel.

### Using the MINUS Formula for Subtraction

Choose the cell to start calculation.

Type the equals sign (=).

Type references of the first number, add a minus sign (-) and the reference of the second number.

Press enter.

The result appears in the cell.

Copy formula: highlight the cell, drag it down or use copy/paste.

Check numbers before pressing enter.

In old Excel versions, “MINUS” was used instead of “-“.

Next heading: ‘Using SUBTRACT Formula for Subtraction’.

### Using the SUBTRACT Formula for Subtraction

Need to subtract numbers in Excel? SUBTRACT formula is the way to go. Quick and easy! Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Select an empty cell for the result.
2. Enter the formula “=A1-B1”, replacing “A1” and “B1” with the cells containing the numbers you want to subtract.
3. Press enter and the result will appear.
4. Remember, quotation marks are needed for text values.

Using the formula is time-saving and helps adjust calculations quickly. It can improve productivity and efficiency at work or school.

Start using it now to streamline processes and reduce errors.

Next is functions for subtraction in Excel, which gives even more flexibility.

## Subtraction in Excel using Functions

Tired of manual subtraction in Excel? You’re lucky! There are various functions for subtraction in Excel. In this guide, we’ll learn about the SUMIFS, AGGREGATE and SUBTOTAL functions.

Learn these functions and you can easily subtract values in Excel with a few clicks. It’ll save you time and effort.

### Using the SUMIFS Function

SUMIFS is an awesome way to add up values in Excel. It’s different from the SUM function as you can use it to add up numbers based on criteria. Here’s how to use it:

1. Pick the cell that you want to display the result.
2. Type “=SUMIFS(” followed by the range and criteria you need.
3. Close with “)” and press enter.

This function saves time when you need to add up values based on some conditions. Let’s say you have a table with columns such as date, product, quantity sold and price per unit. If you want to find out each product’s revenue in a certain period, SUMIFS is the perfect tool for this.

It’s important to remember that you must include both the range and criteria when using SUMIFS. Otherwise, Excel will return an error message.

Pro Tip: Format all numerical data like dates and numbers correctly before entering them in the formula. This prevents Excel from misinterpreting the information and causing errors.

Now, onto the AGGREGATE function! Another great tool for mathematical operations in Excel.

### Using the AGGREGATE Function

Select an empty cell to show the result. In the formula bar, type “=” followed by “AGGREGATE(“ and choose “3” (Subtract) from the list of functions. Select the range of cells containing numbers for subtraction, then close the bracket with “)”.

The AGGREGATE Function can do more than Subtract. It can also SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT etc. When subtracting, it ignores errors or hidden rows in the range and can specify to include subtotals or header rows.

However, AGGREGATE works best with numerical values only. Text entries, dates or non-numeric characters will result in an error message.

A user got help from AGGREGATE Function for an important spreadsheet. They needed to subtract columns but didn’t want errors caused by missing data or hidden rows. AGGREGATE fixed their problems!

Next, we’ll cover Using the SUBTOTAL Function which allows calculations on filtered data without hidden rows or error values.

### Using the SUBTOTAL Function

Text:

Select the cell where the answer should be displayed. Type “=subtotal(109,” then the range of cells to subtract. Hit Enter, and it’ll calculate the subtotal. Use multiple ranges by separating them with a comma within quotes. To add another operation, wrap the formula with parentheses, and add a minus sign outside. That’s all you need to know about using SUBTOTAL!

Using SUBTOTAL saves time compared to manual methods like mental math or calculators. A colleague once used it in a work meeting to figure out spending on office supplies for the year, and it took only five minutes!

Now, let’s explore Advanced Subtraction Techniques in Excel with Conditional Formatting. This will give even greater methods for efficient data management and analysis.

## Advanced Subtraction Techniques in Excel with Conditional Formatting

I’m a fan of Excel and I’m always keen to find ways to get better! In this part, I’ll show you some advanced subtraction techniques. They use conditional formatting to make your data look more attractive and easier to understand. There are 3 sub-sections to explore. Data Bars, Color Scales and Icon Sets. I’ll provide step-by-step instructions to help you master these techniques in Excel.

### Using Data Bars for Subtraction

Data bars are great for subtracting data in Excel. Here’s how to do it:

1. Select the range of cells.
2. Click the “Conditional Formatting” button in the “Home” tab.
3. Choose “Data Bars” from the drop-down menu.
4. Pick a color for your data bars.
5. In the icon set options, select “No Icons“.

Data bars make it easy to identify trends and patterns in large datasets. Plus, you can spot the difference between two values at a glance. Try different colors and shades to highlight important details. With data bars, complex data becomes a visual representation that gives insights about how data sets compare.

Using Color Scales for Subtraction is another way to highlight specific ranges. Assign different hues based on their values and observe them in color gradients. Immediately see which numbers meet certain criteria.

### Using Color Scales for Subtraction

Want to subtract numbers faster? Try Color Scales! This advanced Excel technique will save you time and effort.

Select the numbers to subtract. Go to ‘Home’ tab and click on ‘Conditional Formatting’. Then choose ‘Color Scales’ and pick your desired color. Set min and max values and hit ‘OK’.

Voila! Excel highlights cells that need subtracting. No more manual scanning!

Using Color Scales for Subtraction is a great productivity hack. Try it out and see the benefits! Not done yet? Check out Icon Sets for Subtraction too.

### Using Icon Sets for Subtraction

Using icon sets for subtraction in Excel is an advanced technique. It helps you visualize and analyze data quickly. Here’s how to use it in three simple steps:

1. Select the cells you want to subtract.
2. Go to “Conditional Formatting” under the “Home” tab.
3. Choose the icons that represent subtractions.

Icon sets make data analysis easier. You can customize them to suit your needs by changing their appearance, size, or position.

This technique was inspired by ancient accounting practices. These were called “reckoning boards.” People would etch lines into wooden boards and wipe them away after each calculation.

Try using icon sets for subtraction next time you need quick and efficient data analysis.

## Five Facts About How to Subtract in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide:

• ✅ Excel provides several ways to subtract numbers, including using the minus sign, the SUM function, and the SUBTRACT function. (Source: Exceljet)
• ✅ Subtracting cells in Excel is as simple as using the formula “=cell1-cell2.” (Source: Business Insider)
• ✅ Excel allows users to subtract cells across multiple sheets by using the formula “=sheet1!cell1-sheet2!cell2.” (Source: Microsoft)
• ✅ Using negative numbers in Excel subtraction can result in unexpected errors and incorrect calculations. (Source: Excel Campus)
• ✅ Excel offers various formatting options for displaying subtraction results, including changing the number of decimal places and applying currency symbols. (Source: Ablebits)

## FAQs about How To Subtract In Excel: A Step-By-Step Guide

### What is the SUM formula?

The SUM formula is a function in Excel that allows you to add up a range of cells. It can also be used to subtract using negative numbers. The formula syntax is “=SUM(cell1,cell2,…)”

### Can I subtract multiple numbers at once in Excel?

Yes, you can subtract multiple numbers at once in Excel. You can either use the “-” symbol between each number, or use the SUM formula with negative numbers. For example, “=SUM(A1:A3,-10)”

### Can I subtract numbers in different worksheets?

Yes, you can subtract numbers in different worksheets by referencing the cell location in the other worksheet. For example, “=Sheet2!A1-Sheet3!B2”

### Can I subtract numbers with different formats in Excel?

Yes, you can subtract numbers with different formats in Excel. Excel will automatically convert the formats to a common format before performing the subtraction.

### What are some common errors when subtracting in Excel?

Some common errors when subtracting in Excel include mistyping the formula, referencing the wrong cells, and using the wrong operator. Double check your formula and cell references to avoid these errors.