Topics Map > Office 365 > Excel

# Microsoft Excel - Subtract numbers

Let's say you want to find out how many inventory items are not profitable (total inventory minus profitable items) or how many employees are approaching retirement age (total employees minus employees under 55). There are several ways to subtract numbers.

__Subtract numbers in a cell__

To do this task, use the - (minus sign) arithmetic operator.

For example, if you type the following formula in a cell:

=10-5

The cell displays the following result:

5

__Subtract numbers in a range__

To do this task, use the SUM function. Adding a negative number is the same as subtracting.**Note:** There is no **SUBTRACT** function in Excel. Use the **SUM** function to convert any numbers that you want to subtract to their negative values. For example, **SUM(100,-32,15,-6)** returns 77.

__Example__

Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

Select the content in cells A1-B7 in the following example.

**Note:**Do not select the row or column headers.A

B

1

Data

2

15000

3

9000

4

-8000

5

Formula

Description (Result)

6

=A2-A3

Subtracts 9000 from 15000 (6000)

7

=SUM(A2:A4)

Adds all numbers in the list, including negative numbers (16000)

Press CTRL+C.

In the worksheet, select cell A1, and then press CTRL+V.

To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

__How you use the SUM function__

**For more information, please visit the Excel help center.**