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Google Sheets Subtraction Operator


Subtraction Operator

Subtraction uses the - symbol, and is also known as minus.

How to subtract cells:

  1. Select a cell and type (=)
  2. Select the minuend
  3. Type (-)
  4. Select the subtrahend
  5. Hit enter

Note: The minuend is the number to which the subtrahend subtracts from.

You can add more cells to the formula by typing (-) between the cells.

Let's have a look at some examples.


Subtracting Two Manual Entries

Let's start with adding in a formula. Start with a clean sheet

Step by step:

  1. Type A1(=)
  2. Type 100-50
  3. Hit enter

Tip: You can add more values into the formula by typing (-) between the cells.


Subtracting Using Two Cells

Let's add some numbers to work with. Type the following values:

Subtracting using two cells, step by step:

  1. Type A3(=)
  2. Select A1
  3. Type (-)
  4. Select A2
  5. Hit enter


Subtracting Using Many Cells

Let's subtract using many cells. First, copy the following values:

Copy Values

Step by step:

  1. Type B1(=)
  2. Select A1
  3. Type (-)
  4. Select A2
  5. Type (-)
  6. Select A3
  7. Type (-)
  8. Select A4
  9. Type (-)
  10. Select A5
  11. Hit enter


Subtracting Using Absolute Reference

You can lock a cell and subtract it from other cells.

How to do it, step by step:

  1. Select a cell and type (=)
  2. Select the minuend
  3. Type (-)
  4. Select the subtrahend and add two dollar signs ($) before the column and row or press F4
  5. Hit enter
  6. Fill the range

Note: The minuend is the number to which the subtrahend subtracts from.

Let's have a look at an example where we subtract B1(5) from the range A1:A10 using absolute reference and the fill function.

Copy the values to follow along:

Copy Values

Step by step:

  1. Type C1(=)

  1. Select A1

  1. Type (-)

  1. Select B1 and type dollar sign before column and row $B$1

  1. Hit Enter

  1. Fill C1:C10

You got it! You have successfully used absolute reference to subtract B1(5) from the minuend range A1:A10.