Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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 Office 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Moving Through a Table in a Macro

Do you need to step through a table, cell by cell, in a macro? It's easy to do using the Move method, as described in ...

Discover More

Counting Unique Values

Need to know a count of unique values in a range of cells? There are a couple of ways you can tackle the problem.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Returning Blanks or Asterisks from a Lookup

Want to return more than a value when doing a lookup? Here are a couple of ways to do it by adding an IF clause to your ...

Discover More

Using the COLUMN Function

Need to know the column number for use in a formula? The worksheet function you want is the COLUMN function, described in ...

Discover More

Finding the Lowest Numbers

Need to find the lowest numbers in a range of values? It's easy to do using the SMALL worksheet function, or you can use ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 0?

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


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.