# How to calculate a difference between 2 numbers in Excel and display the result as either a positive or negative

Calculating the difference between two numbers in Excel is a common task that many users need to perform. Whether you are working with financial data, sales figures, or any other type of numerical data, being able to calculate the difference between two numbers is essential. In this article, we will show you how to calculate the difference between two numbers in Excel and display the result as either a positive or negative number.

To calculate the difference between two numbers in Excel, you can use the simple subtraction formula. Here are the steps:

1. Enter the two numbers you want to compare in two adjacent cells.

2. In the cell where you want to display the result, enter the formula “=B1-A1” (assuming that the first number is in cell A1 and the second number is in cell B1).

3. Press Enter to calculate the difference between the two numbers.

By default, Excel will display the result as a positive number, even if the second number is smaller than the first number. To display the result as either a positive or negative number, you can use the ABS function and the IF function. Here are the steps:

1. Enter the two numbers you want to compare in two adjacent cells.

2. In the cell where you want to display the result, enter the formula “=IF(B1>A1,B1-A1,-ABS(B1-A1))” (assuming that the first number is in cell A1 and the second number is in cell B1).

3. Press Enter to calculate the difference between the two numbers.

This formula uses the IF function to check if the second number is greater than the first number. If it is, the formula subtracts the first number from the second number and displays the result as a positive number. If the second number is smaller than the first number, the formula subtracts the second number from the first number and uses the ABS function to display the result as a positive number.

In conclusion, calculating the difference between two numbers in Excel is a simple task that can be done using the subtraction formula. To display the result as either a positive or negative number, you can use the ABS function and the IF function. By following these steps, you can easily compare two numbers and display the result in a way that makes sense for your data.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, calculating the difference between two numbers in Excel is a straightforward process that can be done using the subtraction formula. However, to display the result as either a positive or negative number, you can use the ABS function and the IF function. By following these steps, you can easily compare two numbers and display the result in a way that makes sense for your data. I hope this solution helps you in your Excel calculations.

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