How To Subtract In Excel

If you just downloaded Microsoft Excel and are completely confused on how to use it, don’t worry too much! We’ve got a couple of quick tips to help you better enter and manipulate data through subtraction. Subtracting isn’t as straightforward in Excel as it seems, simply because there’s no actual command to subtract numbers. Instead, you have to use a formula with the subtraction operator. If it sounds complicated, it really isn’t. It’s just a few extra steps that you have to take, possibly even some bug hunting if the formula doesn’t work properly.

But again, no worries, because we’re going to take you step by step on how to use the subtraction operator in Excel. Be sure to follow along below!

Subtracting in Excel

Like we already mentioned, there’s no actual command in Excel for subtracting values, you have to use an operator in a formula. That said, we can create individual formulas in cells. It’s worth noting that a formula always starts with the “=” sign.

That said, to subtract a value in Microsoft Excel, follow these steps:

  1. In the A2 cell, type in the value 10.
  2. In the B2 cell, type in the value 5.
  3. In the C2 cell, we’ll create our formula. Type in =A2-B2
  4. You should see the value of what cell A2 minus B2 is in cell C2.

That’s generally how it works. We don’t have to spread out values through cells like this, though. We can subtract values themselves in a cell. Try it this way:

  1. Click on Cell A2
  2. In Cell A2, type =10-5
  3. You should see what the value of 10-5 is in Cell A2.


And that’s all there is to it! We should note that you can actually combine operators together in a formula. For example, instead of typing in =10-5 you could do =10-5+15-9 and so on. You can do the same with cells as well. As an example: =A2-B2+B3+B4-A3.

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Brad Coleta

Brad Coleta is a passionate reporter for The Droid Guy, covering all aspects of mobile, gaming, software, apps, and services. He graduated from the University of Rochester in New York with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. When he's not reporting, he's a huge fan of the New York Giants and Yankees. But what might surprise you is that he also enjoys reading Manga during his down time. Brad is a dedicated reporter, always looking to tell the stories of the tech world. Contact me at Email or LinkedIn

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