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# subtract a positive from a negative

2,329 views

### wolfman

Mar 28, 2008, 1:37:00 PM3/28/08
to
I need a formula that will subtract positive numbers from negative numbers
"and" negative numbers from positive, with the answer in the correct form,
ie; positive or negative.

All numbers refer to either a gain or loss in quantity
Row 1 values are taken from one source
Row 2 values are taken from another source
I need a formula for row 3 to give me the total gain or loss represented in
each column.

Example
A B
1 (20.5) 17 Row 1
2 1.5 (2) Minus Row 2
3 (19) 15 Equal Row 3

### Gord Dibben

Mar 28, 2008, 1:49:38 PM3/28/08
to

=A1+A2 returns (19)

=B1+B2 returns 15

Gord Dibben MS Excel MVP

On Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:37:00 -0700, wolfman <wol...@discussions.microsoft.com>
wrote:

### Gary''s Student

Mar 28, 2008, 1:53:01 PM3/28/08
to
Because your numbers are already "signed" changes, you do not need to
subtract. So in A3 enter =A1+A2
so in B3 enter =B1+B2
--
Gary''s Student - gsnu200776

### wolfman

Mar 28, 2008, 2:10:04 PM3/28/08
to
Thanks to those who have responded but this example is just one caculation
for a very large spreadsheet where I need to input a formula into the entire
width of row 3 that will handle subtracting row 2 from row 1 no matter what
the sign. In my origional post I forgot to include the other 2 sign
combinations that will be calculated so here are all of them

Example
A B
1 (20.5) 17 20 (10) Row 1
2 1.5 (2) 10 (5) Minus Row 2
3 (19) 15 10 (5) Equal Row 3

### Rick Rothstein (MVP - VB)

Mar 28, 2008, 2:49:01 PM3/28/08
to
Try this then...

In A3... = ABS(A1)-ABS(A2)

and copy across.

Rick

"wolfman" <wol...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:A3C444CF-9F27-495B...@microsoft.com...

### Pete_UK

Mar 28, 2008, 3:16:32 PM3/28/08
to
So, are you saying that you want to subtract the second (row 2) number
if the signs are the same, otherwise add the numbers?

If so, try this in A3:

=IF(A1*A2>0,A1-A2,A1+A2)

Copy across as required.

Hope this helps.

Pete

> > 3      (19)       15             Equal Row 3- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

### kmaas...@aol.com

May 4, 2013, 9:56:21 AM5/4/13
to
Gord Dibben and ALL,
Just wanted to say "Thank You". Actualy, "Thank You" to everyone who posts! I ALWAYS use the internet,forums, etc/ to find answers to many things. I was stuck on a "SIMPLE" thing in Excel and found your post. It may not seem that the little information is very important but in-fact they help soooooo much. I appreciate ALL the post people do.

Thanks Again!!!
kmaa