Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using the ABS Function.

Using the ABS Function

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 25, 2020)

1

If you need to determine the absolute value of a number, you use the ABS worksheet function. It returns the positive equivalent of any value referenced. Thus, if you wanted the absolute value of what is in cell B7, you would use the following:

=ABS(B7)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8771) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using the ABS Function.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is four less than 6?

2020-04-27 11:03:03

Craig Abt

I use the abs function when adding validations to my worksheets. For example, if I turn a pivot summary from a data table that gets updated montly, I'll add a "check" cell containing something like the following formula:

=if(abs(cell ref of pivot table total - cell ref of data table total)<1,"ok","error")

if I have addl time, I'll also add conditional formatting to the above cell such that it displays red fill for "error" and green fill for "ok"

Thanks for your tips


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