How Do You Subtract in Excel?

To subtract in Excel, enter the numbers in a cell using the formula =x-y, complete the same formula using the column and row headings of two different cells, or use the SUM function with negative numbers. Excel does not have a specific SUBTRACT function.

  1. Subtract two numbers

    To subtract two numbers in a cell, type the formula =x-y, x and y are the desired numerical values. For example, if you type =11-4 and press enter, the cell displays the number 7.

  2. Subtract two cells

    You can subtract two cells using the same formula as above,by substituting x and y with the cells’ column and row headers. For example, enter the formula =B5-B1 and if the number in B5 is 7 and the number in B1 is 3, the cell displays the number 4.

  3. Subtract a range of numbers

    Since Excel does not have a SUBTRACT function, you can use the SUM function to subtract a range of numbers by adding negative numbers. Convert any numbers that need to be subtracted to their negative values. If you need to subtract 200 from a range of numbers, change the value of the cell to -200. For example, subtract a range of numbers, by typing SUM(A1:A4) or SUM(A1,A2,A3,A4). If A1 is 100, A2 is -50, A3 is -25, A4 is 5, the cell displays 30.