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How To Insert Subtraction Formula in Excel

Hi Friends, Are you struggling with subtracting multiple cells in Microsoft Excel? Don’t worry! In this post, we will guide you through the different methods to subtract cells in Excel.

When it comes to subtracting multiple cells in a Microsoft Excel worksheet, there are various techniques available. The formulas, tools, graphing tools, and tables in Excel simplify calculations, organize, and manage data effectively. They will be able to save time if they know how to use shortcut methods or formulas. In such cases, this can be a very time-consuming process. Learn how to subtract multiple cells in Excel.

 By the end of this article, you will know how to use formulas, the SUM function, and Paste Special to subtract cells in Excel. Let’s get started!

What is Cell Subtraction in Excell?

In Excel, cell subtraction is the process of subtracting a value from another cell. A spreadsheet program that allows users to perform basic mathematical operations is one of the most helpful tools that one can use.

Methods are as follows:

  • Based on the formula
  • Utilizing the SUM function
  • By using no formulas

1, Based on the formula

The most popular method is to use Excel formulas, which requires selecting the relevant cells and creating a formula for subtraction. Here are the steps you can follow to complete this process:

Step 1: First, launch Microsoft Excel on your PC or laptop and open the desired worksheet.

Step 2: To initiate the subtraction process, you need to insert an equal sign before the number in the cell.

Step 3: Then, select the initial cell you want to subtract and make sure that a minus sign is included.

Step 4: Next, choose the second cell you want to subtract and repeat the previous step for additional cells.

Step 5: After completing the subtraction, press the Enter key on your keyboard to input the result.

Step 6: To apply the same formula to other rows, you can drag the answer cell from the corner.

2, Utilizing the SUM function

Alternatively, you can use the SUM function to subtract multiple cells in both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Here’s how to perform this method:

Step 1: Start by subtracting the cell that has the equal sign.

Step 2: Click on the first cell you want to subtract and add a minus sign.

Step 3: Type in the word “SUM” and enclose the values to be subtracted in brackets.

Step 4: Select the next cell to include in the subtraction and put a colon after it.

Step 5: The final cell selected earlier is the last one to be subtracted.

Step 6: Press Enter to complete the calculation.

Step 7: To apply the formula to other cells, you can drag the answer cell down.

3, By using no formulas (Paste Special function)

Finally, if you only need to subtract one value from multiple cells, you can use the Paste Special function. Here’s how to use this method:

Step 1: Right-click on the desired cell from which you want to subtract other cells.

Step 2: From the context menu, choose Copy.

Step 3: Select the range of cells you want to subtract.

Step 4: Right-click in the chosen range and choose Paste Special from the menu.

Step 5: Select Subtract to perform the subtraction.

Step 6: Click OK after making the changes.


Q1: Can I subtract cells with different data types, such as numbers and text?

 A: No, you cannot subtract cells with different data types. Excel will return an error message if you attempt to do so.

Q2: Can I subtract cells with conditional formatting?

A: Yes, you can subtract cells with conditional formatting. The formatting will remain intact after the subtraction.

Q3: Can I undo a subtraction in Excel?

A: Yes, you can undo a subtraction in Excel by pressing Ctrl+Z on your keyboard.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Microsoft Excel offers multiple techniques for subtracting multiple cells, such as formulas, the SUM function, and Paste Special. By using these methods, you can easily manage your spreadsheet data.


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