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Excel Guide

How to Perform Subtraction in Excel: A Stepwise Tutorial

If you're new to Excel, or if you've been using it for some time but don't know how to perform subtraction, don't worry. It's a straightforward process, and once you grasp it, you'll be able to execute it quickly.

Getting Started with Excel

To begin, you need to open Microsoft Excel. On a Windows computer, you can achieve this by navigating to the Start menu and selecting "Excel" from the list of programs. If you're using a Mac, you'll find the Excel application in the Applications folder.

Creating a Fresh WorksheetOnce you have Excel open, create a new worksheet by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing "New." Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Windows) or Cmd+N (Mac).

Inputting DataWith a new worksheet in front of you, it's time to input some data. For this example, we will subtract the numbers 5 and 3. In the first cell, input the number 5, and in the second cell, input the number 3. The order in which you input the numbers doesn't matter, as long as they occupy different cells.

Performing SubtractionNow that you have entered your data, you are prepared to subtract the numbers. Simply type "=5-3" into any cell, and it will provide you with the result, which is 2.

Formatting the Subtraction Results

If you wish to format the results of your subtraction, select the cell containing the result. Next, click on the "Format" menu and choose "Cells." This will open the "Format Cells" dialog box.

Within the "Format Cells" dialog box, navigate to the "Number" tab. Then, select the "Number" category. This gives you the option to format the number as a percentage, currency, date, or time. For this example, let's keep it as a regular number.

After you've made your format selection, click the "OK" button to apply the chosen format to the selected cell.

Subtracting Multiple Numbers

Excel also allows you to subtract multiple numbers. To do this, enter all the numbers you want to subtract into different cells. Then, in the cell where you want the subtraction result, type "=". After the equal sign, enter the cell references for all the cells you want to subtract, separated by minus signs. For instance, if you want to subtract the numbers in cells A1, A2, and A3, type "=A1-A2-A3" into the cell where you want the result to appear.

Subtracting a Range of Numbers

If you need to subtract a range of numbers, you can use the SUM function. To employ this function, type "=SUM(A1:A3)" into the cell where you want the result to be displayed. This will subtract the numbers in cells A1, A2, and A3.

Subtracting a Column of Numbers

If you have a column of numbers that you want to subtract, you can also use the SUM function. Type "=SUM(A1:A3)" into the cell where you want the result to appear. This will subtract the numbers in cells A1, A2, and A3.

Subtracting a Row of Numbers

Should you have a row of numbers to subtract, the SUM function can be employed in the same manner. Type "=SUM(A1:A3)" into the cell where you want the result to be displayed. This will subtract the numbers in cells A1, A2, and A3.