How To Subtract in Google Sheets
Sep 02, 2024Substractions are one function you are bound to perform regularly in Google Sheets.
Different tasks in Google Sheets require subtraction. Examples of such tasks include managing a budget, calculating differences, or just organizing data. Hence, understanding the Google Sheets subtraction formula will make your life easier.
This blog post will cover how to subtract in Google Sheets using various easy methods.
Subtracting Using the MINUS Function
Google Sheets has a MINUS function for easily subtracting values. To subtract numbers using the MINUS function, follow these steps:

Select the cell where you want the result of the subtraction to appear.

Type the formula =MINUS(value1, value2), where value1 is the number or cell reference you want to subtract from, and value2 is the number or cell reference you want to subtract.

Press Enter to calculate the result.
For example, if you want to subtract the value in cell B2 from the value in cell A2, you would enter =MINUS(A2, B2) in the desired cell. This formula will then display the difference between the two values.
Single Cells Subtraction
You can use a simple subtraction formula to subtract single cells in Google Sheets. Here’s how:

Select the cell where you want the result to appear.

Type the formula =Cell1  Cell2, replacing Cell1 and Cell2 with the references of the cells you want to subtract. For example, to subtract the value in cell B2 from the value in cell A2, type =A2  B2.

Press Enter to calculate the difference between the two cells.
The result will display the difference between the values in the specified cells.
Multiple Cells Subtraction
Google Sheets allows users to subtract multiple cells using an array formula. We have explained how to do it below:
 Click on the cell where you want the subtraction results to start appearing. For example, if you want the results to appear from cell E1 downward, click on E1.
 Type the formula
=B1:B5  D1
(assuming you want to subtract the value in cell D1 from each cell in the range B1 to B5).  Press
Ctrl + Shift + Enter
(orCmd + Shift + Enter
on Mac) to input the formula as an array formula.
The subtraction will be applied to each cell in the range, and the results will be displayed across the selected cells. This method is particularly useful for simultaneously applying the same subtraction operation across a range of cells.
How To Subtract With the SUM Function
You can use the SUM function in Google Sheets to subtract multiple values by combining addition and subtraction in a single formula. Here’s how:

Select the cell where you want the result to appear.

Type the formula =SUM(range1)  SUM(range2), where range1 represents the range of cells you want to add up first, and range2 is the range of cells you want to subtract from the total. For example, if you want to add the values in cells A1 through A5 and subtract the sum of cells B1 through B5, you would type =SUM(A1:A5)  SUM(B1:B5).

Press Enter to calculate the result.
This formula adds up all the values in the first range, then subtracts the sum of the values in the second range, giving you the final result.
How To Subtract Columns in Google Sheets
Sheets doesn't just let you subtract cells, you can also subtract columns. To subtract entire columns in Google Sheets, you can use a formula that applies subtraction to each cell in the columns you want to subtract. Here’s how:

Select the cell where you want the first result to appear (e.g., E1).

Type the formula =A1  B1 to subtract the value in cell B1 from the value in cell A1.

Press Enter to get the subtraction result for that row.

To apply the subtraction formula to the entire column, click and drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottomright corner of the selected cell) down the column to fill the formula into the rest of the cells in column E.
This will subtract values in column B from the corresponding values in column A for each row. You can adjust the column references (A and B) as needed to subtract different columns.
Final Thoughts on "How To Subtract in Google Sheets"
Subtraction operations in Google Sheets are quick and easy, whether you're working with single cells, multiple values, or entire columns. You can perform all the calculations you need for data analysis with just a few simple formulas. Now, you're ready to tackle any spreadsheet challenge with confidence!
You can visit our homepage for more easytofollow howto and stepbystep guides. Check the links in related articles for further details about Excel/Google Sheets Templates!
FAQ on "How To Subtract in Google Sheets"
Can I subtract text values in Google Sheets?
No, Google Sheets cannot subtract text values. Subtraction only works with numerical data.
How do I subtract dates in Google Sheets?
To subtract dates, use a formula like =A2  B2 to find the difference in days between two dates. The result will show the number of days between them.
Is there a way to subtract percentages in Google Sheets?
Yes, you can subtract percentages just like regular numbers by using a formula such as =A2  B2. Make sure the cells are formatted as percentages to display the correct result.
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