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How to Subtract in Google Sheets (Full Guide)

Internet browsers are becoming more and more powerful, providing the ideal framework for web apps to flourish. These web apps are basically applications that you can use, without having to ever download anything on your PC, thus saving you hard drive storage space, the integrity of your registries, and more.

One perfect example of a commonly used web app is Google Sheets, a component of the Google Drive Suite, and an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel, a well-established tool that would otherwise cost you quite a lot. Well, Google Sheets is designed to be just as efficient as Microsoft Excel, or at least it manages to encompass all the basic tools that Excel has.

In fact, both products share a very common UI design, and even a similar colour motif, although Google Spreadsheets does want to brand itself as being a much simpler tool.

How to Subtract in Google Sheets

Since we’re talking about spreadsheets, we should also talk about what you can do with such tools.

To their very core, such tools help to crunch numbers, be it addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or even more complex mathematical equations.

In the article today, we will show you exactly how you can go ahead and use Google Sheets to subtract numbers in a fast and efficient manner so that large data tables will pose no problem to your workflow.

How to Subtract in Google Sheets

  1. Prepare two columns, filling them out with various numerical values
    • For the purpose of this tutorial, have the values in the first column be greater than the ones in the second column
  2. Select the cell where you want the results to be shown after subtraction
  3. In the same cell, start typing in “=
  4. Select the first cell of the first column
  5. Type in the “” symbol
  6. Select the corresponding cell from the second column
  7. Press Enter
  8. Once you’ve pressed Enter, the result will be placed automatically in the cell where you wrote down the formula

Subtract Multiple Values At Once?

Once you’ve performed the steps above, you’re probably wondering whether you have to do this one by one for each row, until the very bottom. The answer is No.

All you need to do in order to display the subtraction results for all the other rows is to simply select drag the first cell containing a result by the bottom-right corner, and they will then fill up with the right values.

Why Is Subtracting In Google Sheets So Efficient?

Because the data in each cell is automatically updated, every time you change the values in either column B or C, the subtraction results in column D will adjust as well.

More so, the cells containing the subtraction formulas can be moved to a different row or column without you having to worry about the result changing.

This is because no matter where you position the formula cell, it still refers to the original B and C cells.

How Do I View Formulas In Google Sheets?

If you already have a spreadsheet with all the subtractions and additions made for you, but you’re curious as to what the exact formula is, there  are two ways of discovering them:

Method 1

  1. Click on the cell containing a formula that you want to analyze
  2. Look at the Fx bar as showcased in the picture below:

Method 2

Simply double-click on the respective cell, and the formula will appear as editable.

Note that these two methods are great for viewing all types of formulas, not just subtractions, so keep in mind how to use them, since you’ll probably need them often.

Subtracting In Google Sheets: Closing thoughts

Yet again Google has managed to deliver a very stable tool for individuals and companies alike, and they did it all without asking for any form of payment.

Google Sheets is reliable, feature-rich, always accessible from any browser, and you don’t even need a Google account in order to use it

All in all, using formulas in Google Sheets is not that hard at all, and we hope that this article made things even clearer for you.

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