Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Segregating Numbers According to Their Sign.

Segregating Numbers According to Their Sign

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2017)

5

Are you working with a large set of data consisting of mixed values, some negative and some positive, that you want to separate into columns based on their sign? There are several ways this can be approached. One method is simply to use a formula in the columns to the right of the mixed column. For instance, if the mixed column is in column A, then you could place the following formula in the cells of column B:

=IF(A2>0,A2,0)

This results in column B only containing values that are greater than zero. In column C you could then use this formula:

=IF(A2<0,A2,0)

This column would only contain values less than zero. The result is two new columns (B and C) that are the same length as the original column. Column B is essentially the same as column A, except that negative values are replaced by zero, while column C replaces positive values with zero.

If you want to end up with columns that only contain negative or positive values (no zeroes), then you can use the filtering capabilities of Excel. Assuming the mixed values are in column A, follow these steps:

  1. If you have a column heading in cell A1, copy it to cell E1.
  2. In cell E2, place the formula >0.
  3. Select any cell in the mixed values of column A.
  4. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  5. Click Advanced in the Sort & Filter group. Excel displays the Advanced Filter dialog box. The List Range should already be filled in, representing the range of mixed values in Column A. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Copy to Another Location radio button is selected.
  8. Select the Criteria Range box and then use the mouse to select cells E1:E2. This tells Excel that you only want cells in the original range that are greater than zero.
  9. Select the Copy To box and click once in cell B1.
  10. Click on OK. Column B now contains cells that are greater than zero.
  11. In cell E2, place the formula <0.
  12. Again display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  13. Click again on the Advanced tool in the Sort & Filter group. Excel displays the Advanced Filter dialog box. The settings in the dialog box should be the same as the last time you used them.
  14. Select everything in the Copy To box, and then click once in cell C1.
  15. Click on OK. Column C now contains cells that are less than zero.

You now have the desired two columns of positive and negative values. You can also delete the cells at E1:E2 if you desire.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9601) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Segregating Numbers According to Their Sign.

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

Understanding View Options

Understanding the options available on the View tab of the Options dialog box based on the view you are using.

Discover More

Retaining Formatting After a Paste Multiply

You can use the Paste Special feature in Excel to multiple the values in a range of cells. If you don't want Excel to mess up ...

Discover More

Using the Sound Recorder

Over the years Windows has included many accessories you can use for a variety of purposes. One of the more arcane ...

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)

Counting Jobs Completed On a Date

When you store the date and time in a single cell, it can be a bit confusing to count how many cells contain a particular ...

Discover More

Grabbing the Second-to-Last Value in a Column

Need to get at the next-to-last value in a column, regardless of how many cells are used within that column? This tip ...

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is an ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 7 - 0?

2017-01-20 00:19:31

M. C. Basak

Great tricks. Thank you.


2017-01-19 08:32:39

KENNEDY KINYANJUI

Nice one Jim!!!


2017-01-19 08:26:54

KENNEDY KINYANJUI

Great, I like the excel tip on segregating numbers to their signs


2017-01-19 07:05:05

Jim

To avoid having zeroes you can just use this alternative function in column B (and equivalent in column c):
=IF(A2>0,A2,"")


2015-06-29 09:05:14

Robert

Thank you. Quick reference was helpful.


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.