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: Creating a Plus/Minus Button.

Creating a Plus/Minus Button

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2019)

2

On some calculators there is a little button that can come in very handy: the plus/minus button. This button, when pressed, will switch whatever value is on the display between its positive and negative values. For instance, if the display shows the number 57, then pressing the button will change the display to -57. Pressing it again will switch the value back to 57.

If you would like a "button" that does this in Excel, you'll quickly find that there is none built into the program. You can quickly create one, however, by using a macro:

Sub PlusMinus()
    Dim cell As Range

    On Error Resume Next 'copes with cells that are not numeric
        For Each cell In Selection
            If Not cell.HasFormula Then cell.Value = -cell.Value
    Next cell
End Sub

Note that the macro simply steps through whatever range of cells you selected when the macro started. Each cell is tested to make sure it contains a numeric value. When would a cell not contain a number? The most critical time is when it contains a formula, you don't want to mess those up. Another instance is when the cell contains a date. You don't want to change those dates to minus values. Cells that contain either a formula, a date, or a label will generate an error since "cell.Value" isn't a numeric value. If the cell truly contains a number, then the result is a switch in sign for the number.

You can assign this macro to a shortcut key or add it to the Quick Access Toolbar to make it easy to use at any time.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9271) 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: Creating a Plus/Minus Button.

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

Changing the Default Font

Don't like the font that Word uses for a default in your new documents? You can pick a different font, but the way you ...

Discover More

Printing a Number of Different Pages

If you don't need to print an entire workbook, it can be confusing to figure out how to print just certain pages. This ...

Discover More

Quickly Accessing the Column Tab

If you need to quickly display the Column tab of the Table Properties dialog box, here are some handy tricks you can use. ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Out of Memory Errors when Accessing the VBA Editor

It can be frustrating when you get error messages doing something that you previously did with no errors. If you get an ...

Discover More

Skipping Hidden Rows in a Macro

As your macro processes information in a worksheet, you may want to make sure that it skips over rows that are hidden. ...

Discover More

DOS from Macros

Need to run a DOS command from within one of your macros? The answer is the Shell command, described in this tip.

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one more than 7?

2021-12-05 10:25:50

J. Woolley

The subject of this Tip is very similar to a recent Tip titled Negating a Cell Using a Macro. That Tip attracted a plethora of Comments.
See https://excelribbon.tips.net/T010127_Negating_a_Cell_Using_a_Macro.html

My Excel Toolbox includes the Negate macro to negate all numeric constants in a Selection (ignoring other cells). The Negate macro supports Undo.
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


2021-12-04 19:48:37

Fernando Ramos

Hi Allen.
Great code.
A small observation: If you apply this code to empty cells it will change it to a cell with a zero.
This small change should fix that.

Sub PlusMinus()
Dim cell As Range

On Error Resume Next 'copes with cells that are not numeric
For Each cell In Selection
If Not cell.HasFormula and cell.Value <> 0 Then cell.Value = -cell.Value
Next cell
End Sub

Greetings from Mexico


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.