**Subtraction Formula Using the Minus Sign “-“**

The symbol used for the subtraction formula is a minus sign “-” as well as a sign used in a mathematical operation.

You can type the numbers involved in the subtraction directly in the formula or place the numbers in a cell.

For example, there are two numbers, number 5 and 3. How is the subtraction formula in Excel for number 5 subtract by number 3?

- Place the cursor in cell A1.
- Type an equal sign “=”
- Type number 5
- Type a minus sign “-“
- Type number 3
- Press the ENTER button

The results as shown below.

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For example, number 5 and number 3 are stored in a cell as shown below (see line 2).

The following is the steps how to write subtraction formula

- Place the cursor in cell C2
- Type an equal sign “=”
- Point cursor to cell A2 (Cell containing number 5)
- Type a minus sign “-“
- Point cursor to cell B2 (Cell containing number -3)
- Press the ENTER button

The results as shown below.

**Subtraction Formula Using the Plus Sign “+”**

You can use a plus sign “+” for a subtraction formula with a condition, the number stored in the cell must be a negative number. So, even though using the plus sign “+” the result is the same as the subtraction formula.

For example, there are data such as the image below (see the 3rd line). The number 3, stored in cell B3 has a minus sign in front of it, meaning that the number 3 is stored as a negative number.

The following steps create a subtraction formula by using the plus sign “+”.

- Place the cursor in cell C3
- Type an equal sign “=”
- Point the cursor to cell A3 (Cell containing number 5)
- Type the plus sign “+”
- Point the cursor to cell B3 (Cell containing numbers -3)
- Press the ENTER button

The results as shown below.

**Subtraction Formula Using the SUM function**

There is no SUBTRACT function in excel, but you can use the SUM function in one condition, put a negative number in the excel cell.

For example, there are data such as the image below (see 4th Line). Cell B4 contains a negative number 3.

The following are the steps to create a subtraction formula using the SUM function.

- Place the cursor in cell C4
- Type =SUM(
- Point the cursor to cell A4 (Cell containing number 5)
- Press the SHIFT button and hold it down
- Point the cursor to cell B4 (Cell containing number -3)
- Type the closing parenthesis “)”

The results as shown below.

Tips:

I never use the minus sign to do subtraction in excel. I frequently use the plus sign “+” or the SUM function for subtraction formula.

Why? Because in this way I know which one is subtracting. The numbers that become a deduction will appear with a minus sign in front of it. If you use a minus sign directly in the Excel formula, I don’t know which number the subtraction is.

Pay attention to the picture above. In the plain view, you know which one the deduction number is. How about the number in cell B2?, you must check the formula for cell C2, is there any minus sign in the formula?.

There are only three rows of data. What if there are hundreds of sales data and three sales returns. If there is no minus sign in front of the number, it will be challenging to find out which data contains sales returns.