Learn All About Excel Subtraction Formula






An Excel Subtraction Formula is a simple way to subtract two numbers in a worksheet. To use the subtraction formula, select the cell where you want the answer to appear, then type = followed by the first number, minus ( – ), followed by the second. For example, to subtract 5 from 3 in cell A1, you would type =3-5. The answer, -2, would appear in cell A1.

You can also use the subtraction formula to subtract a range of cells. For example, to subtract the range B1:B5 from the range A1:A5, you would type =A1:A5-B1:B5. The answer would appear in each cell of the range A1:A5. Subtracting a range of cells is a quick way to find the differences between two lists of data.

To learn more about using formulas in Excel, check out our course on Getting Started with Formulas and Functions in Excel.

How to Use Excel Subtraction Formula?

If you’re new to Excel Subtraction Formula, or even if you’ve been using it for a while, you may not be aware of the many different ways you can subtract in Excel. In this article, we’ll show you how to use Excel subtraction in a variety of scenarios.

=first value-second value

As you can see, the syntax is very simple. You just need to enter the first value, followed by a minus sign (-), and then the second value. Excel will then automatically calculate the difference between the two values.

Now let’s look at some examples of how you can use the subtraction formula in Excel.

Example 1: Subtracting Cell Values

Let’s say you have two cells containing values, and you want to subtract the second cell from the first cell. In this case, you would just enter the following formula into any empty cell:


This would give you the result of subtracting B1 from A1. If your cells were named differently, just substitute those names for A1 and B1 in the formula. And that’s all there is to it! Easy, right?

Example 2: Subtracting Numbers Directly in a Formula

Instead of referencing cells containing numbers like we did in Example 1, sometimes it’s easier

Benefits of Excel Subtraction Formula

There are many benefits to using the Excel Subtraction. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can save you time. If you have a large data set that you need to perform calculations on, using a formula can be much faster than manually subtracting each value.

Another benefit is that it can help to ensure accuracy. When working with large data sets, it is easy to make mistakes when subtracting values manually. Using a formula can help to avoid these mistakes.

Finally, using a formula can also make your worksheets look more professional. If you are creating a report or presentation that uses data from Excel, including formulas can give your work an added level of polish and professionalism.

Different Types of Excel Subtraction Formula 

There are many different types of excel subtraction , each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The most common type of excel subtraction is the SUM function. This function allows you to quickly add up a range of cells without having to enter each individual cell value. However, the SUM function does not allow you to subtract cells that are adjacent to each other.

Another popular type of excel subtraction is the MINUS function. This function allows you to subtract one cell from another, but it can only be used on two cells at a time. This can be useful if you want to find the difference between two specific cells, but it can be tedious if you have a large range of cells that you need to subtract.

The PRODUCT function is another type of excel subtraction that is often used for more complex calculations. This function multiplies two or more numbers together and then subtracts them from each other. This can be useful for finding the total cost of a product after discounts or for calculating interest rates. However, like the MINUS function, it can only be used on two cells at a time so it may not be suitable for large ranges.

The QUOTIENT function is another type of excel subtraction that can be used for more complex calculations. This function divides one number by another and then subtracts them from each other. This can be useful for finding the percentage change between two numbers or for calculating margins and commission rates.


Understanding how to use the Excel Subtraction can be a great way to quickly and efficiently calculate results in data sets. By following the simple steps outlined above, you will be able to utilize this formula with confidence. Whether you’re dealing with personal finances or analyzing business data for work, having a basic understanding of the subtraction formula is sure to come in handy. 

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