How To Create Subtraction Formula in Excel (With Steps)

Subtract numbers using cell references
  1. Type a number in cells C1 and D1. For example, a 5 and a 3.
  2. In cell E1, type an equal sign (=) to start the formula.
  3. After the equal sign, type C1-D1.
  4. Press RETURN . If you used the example numbers, the result is -2. Notes:

How to Subtract in Excel | Excel Minus Formula [Beginners Tutorial / Easy Excel formulas]

Why would you use a subtraction formula in Excel?

When subtracting two or more values, people use subtraction formulas. Users can enter equations into the program to carry out straightforward subtractions, such as dividing two values by each other, but they can also use it to carry out more intricate calculations. For instance, you could use specific formulas to specify a range of cell values to include in the calculation if you’re working in a spreadsheet with a lot of data. This gives you the freedom to carry out calculations for given values to produce results that meet your needs.

To track employee payroll information, for instance, a human resources professional might use a spreadsheet. To calculate each employee’s net salary for each pay period, they might use a subtraction formula to subtract withholdings and deductions from their base pay in this spreadsheet. The HR professional may use a specialized subtraction formula that automatically completes the right calculations for each specified value if the company has many employees and different employees have different deductions. By using this formula, the calculation is accurate and efficient, and professionals who are proficient in formula creation can apply formulas in a variety of ways to meet their goals.

What is a subtraction formula in Excel?

Users apply subtraction formulas to the program to carry out particular calculations. Users must manually apply formulas to perform these tasks because the program lacks any embedded functions to perform subtractions. Depending on the type of subtraction the user wants to perform, the formula for performing subtractions will change. For instance, when subtracting two values, users enter a different formula than when doing so from a single value in a cell range. The user can apply the appropriate formula to meet their needs if they are aware of which formula to use based on the output goal.

How to create a subtraction formula in Excel

In Excel, there are various subtractions techniques that can be used for various tasks. Here are some different methods for conducting subtractions in Excel:

How to subtract values

To subtract values in the program, use the subtraction equation. The subtraction equation in the program is:


Here are the steps for how to apply this formula:

Additionally, by including multiple values in the equation, you can subtract them all at once. Use this formula, for instance, to take away 10 and 20 from a value of 100:


How to subtract cell values

Use cell references in the subtraction formula to subtract values entered in already-existing cells. Heres the formula for subtracting cell values:


Use this formula, for instance, to take a value from cell A1 and subtract it from cell C5.


Either click the cell where you want the answer to appear and manually type in the cell references, or you can add the formula by selecting the appropriate cells. The steps to complete the calculation using the cell selection method are as follows:

How to subtract columns

Additionally, users can use the subtraction formula to subtract values from two columns. For a single row, the formula to subtract a value from column A would resemble this, for example:


By employing this technique, you can only use the formula in a single row. The steps for using the formula on multiple rows are as follows:

How to subtract a percentage from a number

Use the following formula to subtract a specific percentage from a number:


Use this equation, for instance, to deduct 25% from a value shown in cell A7:


Here are the steps for performing this calculation:

How to subtract dates

There are two methods to subtract dates in the program. Here are the steps for the first method:

The second approach involves entering the formulas using the DATE or DATEVALUE functions. Heres an example equation to subtract using the DATE function:

=DATE (2021, 5, 16)-DATE (2020, 9, 10)

Here is an illustration of how the equation appears when the DATEVALUE function is used:

=DATEVALUE (“5/16/2021”)-DATEVALUE (“9/10/2020”)

How to subtract values across several worksheets

You can work with numbers in various tabs by understanding how to subtract values across multiple worksheets in the program. For instance, you would use the following formula to subtract a value entered in cell C12 on the first sheet from cell B7 on the second sheet:


The steps to subtract values between worksheets are as follows:

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What is the formula for subtraction in Excel?

Use the arithmetic operator – (minus sign) to perform simple subtraction. For instance, if you type the equation =10-5 into a cell, the cell will show 5 as the outcome.

How do you subtract multiple cells in Excel?

Add a Number to a Range of Cells To add a number to a range of cells, click on the cell you want the result to appear in, type “=” (equal), the first number’s cell reference, and then “-” (minus), and finally the number you want to add.

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