In this Excel tutorial you will teach yourself how to subtract.

Excel as a spreadsheet allows you to count both incredibly complex things that even mathematicians have never dreamed of, and to perform simple arithmetic operations, including subtraction. In this tutorial, we will show you two ways how to quickly calculate the difference of two or more numbers, whether they are in the same or different cells. 

How to calculate number difference in different cells?

If the numbers are in different cells, we first check their markings. In our case, we want to subtract the number in cell A2 from the number in cell A1. So go to the next cell - A3 - and on the formula bar, type: = A1-A2, then press Enter.

Excel how to substract

The result of the subtraction appears in cell A3.

If we want to immediately calculate the difference of consecutive pairs of cells, click the square in the selection of cell A3 and drag it right:

Excel how to substract drag and drop

In the same way, you can subtract more numbers if you have more cells. Then we enter in the same way =A1-A2-A3 etc.

How to calculate number difference in one cell?

In some cases, we may want to calculate the difference right away without having to enter numbers into many different cells. To do this, in the cell itself, we enter the formula, e.g. = 20-15-1 and press Enter.

Excel how to substract in the cell

The result will appear in the cell. Note that the formula still appears in the formula bar, where you can edit it as needed.