Learning to Subtract in Google Sheets using a Formula

Learning to Subtract in Google Sheets using a Formula

Did you know that Google Sheets has a special function called MINUS that can help you subtract numbers?

Let me show you how to use it. The formula looks like this: MINUS(value1, value2).

It’s important to note that the MINUS function can only subtract two values at a time. The first value (value1) is the number you want to subtract from, and the second value (value2) is the number you want to subtract from value1.

To add the MINUS function to a worksheet, just follow these steps:

  1. Open a blank spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. For example, let’s say we have the numbers ‘250’ in cell B3 and ‘200’ in cell B4.
  3. Select cell B5 and enter ‘=MINUS(B3, B4)’ in the function bar.
  4. When you press Enter, cell B5 will display the value 50.

The Subtract Formula In Google Sheets

The MINUS function is a bit limited as it can only subtract two values. If you want to subtract numbers from a range of cells, it’s better to use subtraction formulas in Google Sheets.

The subtraction formula in Google Sheets is similar to using a calculator. The only difference is that you need to start with the equals (=) sign in the fx bar and then write the formula after it. You can use actual numbers or cell references in the formula.

For example, let’s select cell C3 in a Google Sheets spreadsheet. In the fx bar, enter the formula ‘=250-200’. Press Enter, and you’ll see 50 appear in cell C3.

Alternatively, you can subtract values that you enter into the cells of a spreadsheet. So, let’s say you want to subtract the values that you entered in cells B3 and B4 using the MINUS function. Here’s what you do:

First, select cell B5. Then, type ‘=B3-B4’ in the function bar above. When you press Enter, B5 will display the result of subtracting the values in B3 and B4, which in this case is 50.

Subtracting Dates in Google Spreadsheets

Did you know that you can also subtract dates using the subtraction formula in Google Spreadsheets? That’s right! It’s not just for numbers, but for dates too.

Let’s say you want to find out the number of days between two dates. Here’s how you do it:

First, enter the dates into spreadsheet cells using the U.S. date format (mm/dd/yyyy). For example, let’s select cell B2 and type ‘3/25/2017’ as the first date. Then, click on cell C2 and enter ‘2/17/2017’ as the date you want to deduct from B2.

Now, select cell D2 to include the subtraction formula. In the fx bar, type ‘=B2-C2’ and press Enter. D2 will now show you the number of days between the two dates.

Now I have included the value 36 in D2, as you can see from the image. Look at a calendar and you will see that there are 36 days between the dates.

Calculating Subtractions in Google Sheets

Google Sheets offers a handy way to subtract cell range totals by using the SUM function in a subtraction formula. This means you don’t have to manually add up multiple column totals and then subtract them.

Here’s an example: enter the values ’50’ and ‘150’ in cells A3 and A4 of your Sheets spreadsheet. Then, input ’50’ and ‘125’ in cells B3 and B4. Now, your spreadsheet should look like the example below.

Alright, let’s get started! First, we need to select cell B7. Once you’ve done that, take a look at the fx bar. Click on it to begin entering your formula. Now, type in ‘=SUM(A3:A4)-SUM(B3:B4)’ and hit Enter. Voila! Cell B7 will now subtract the total of column B from the total of column A, resulting in a final value of 25.

You can also use numbers in the formula instead. To do this, select cell B8 in your spreadsheet and type in the formula ‘=SUM(50, 150)-SUM(50, 125)’ in the fx bar. B8 will give you the same total as B7.

Subtracting Numbers from Different Worksheets

Google Sheets has a cool feature called the Add Sheet button that lets you add more worksheets to your spreadsheet. If you have multiple worksheets in your spreadsheet and you want to subtract numbers from different sheets, you can do that by using sheet references in a subtraction formula.

First, enter the value ‘150’ in cell B3 of Sheet 1 in your spreadsheet. Then, click on the Add Sheet button at the bottom left of Google Sheets to add Sheet 2. Once you’re on Sheet 2, enter ‘125’ in cell B3.

Hey there! Let me show you how to add a formula in your spreadsheet that subtracts the value in cell B3 of Sheet 2 from the value in cell B3 of the first worksheet. First, select Sheet 1 and click on cell B4. Then, type ‘=Sheet1!B3-Sheet2!B3’ in the fx bar. After hitting enter, you’ll see that B4 displays the result, which in this case is 25, the difference between 150 and 125.

My Final Thoughts

Subtraction formulas in Sheets are super flexible, so you can adjust them in different ways to meet your needs and subtract values.

If you want to learn more about Excel subtraction formulas, check out this great guide on Tech Junkie. Many of these formulas can also be used in Google Sheets. Additionally, you might find this article on how to get absolute value using Google Sheets interesting.

I’m curious, what other topics related to Google Sheets would you like to see covered in how-to articles here on Tech Junkie? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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