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Excel-- negative numbers and subtracting

Posted on 1997-12-11
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I'm not sure what the formula is to subtract the values of 2 or more cells.

Also, How are negative numbers processed?  I have a cell which adds two cells and divides by another.  If the number happens to be negative, then the value in the answer cell is in parenthases.  Is there a way to have it printed in the cell like regular positive numbers?
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Question by:deeto
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Expert Comment

by:AlFa
ID: 1605963
Change the cell format negative in brakets is a financial format you can put a personalised format like _-# ##0,00
·# Do not print 0.
·0 (zéro) print left zéros .
·? replace 0 with space
.- sign (space for +)
.+ sign (+ for +)


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Author Comment

by:deeto
ID: 1605964
I don't understand what you're saying.
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Expert Comment

by:itamar
ID: 1605965
I sugest you to always sum the cells with + (plus) sign or SUM function, e.g., SUM(A1:A2).

You have 2 ways to deal with negative results:

1. If you want to always get positive results on despite of negative values in the others cells you must use ABS function. For example:
=ABS((A1+B1)/A2)

2. If you want only SHOW negative results in the same way you show positive ones, you must format the cell in a convenient manner. How ?
Select the cell(s), right-click on the selection, choose format cells, select Custom category and type #.##0,00_);#.##0,00

If you want to take this comment as an answer, reject the previous one, so I can submit it again to be graded.

Regards,
Itamar
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Accepted Solution

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Danimal earned 100 total points
ID: 1605966
Hi deeto,

 I've pasted your questions below, with some attempted answers that begin with >>>.

I'm not sure what the formula is to subtract the values of 2 or more cells.
>>>  The following formula subtracts the values of two cells from the value in cell E5

                    =E5-D5-C5

D5 and C5 are both being subtracted from E5.
Another way to do it would be

                    =E5-(D5+C5)

Both these formulas yield the same result.

As an example, say that E5=15, D5=5, and C5=3.  The result using the first formula would be 15-5-3, which equals 7.  

Using the second formula, the result would be 15-(5+3), which is the same thing as subtracting 8 from 15.  Result is 7.
---------------------------------

Also, How are negative numbers processed? I have a cell which adds two cells and divides by another. If the number happens to be negative, then the value in the answer cell is in parenthases. Is there a way to have it printed in the cell like regular positive numbers?
>>>itamar's suggestion #1 will work fine.  The ABS function stands for "absolute value."  Absolute value is the positive expression of a number.  For example the absolute value of -10 is 10.  Also, the absolute value of 10 is 10.  The ABS function in Excel returns the absolute value of the expression in parenthesis.

If these anwers don't completely make sense, please let me know, and I will try to clarify the areas that are unclear.

Good luck.
-Danimal
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