Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Summing Absolute Values.

# Summing Absolute Values

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 6, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Joseph has a worksheet that contains a list of values. Some of those values are above zero and others are below. He can use the SUM function to calculate a sum of the values, but he really wants to calculate a sum of the absolute value of each item in the list. So, the sum of the three values -33, 14, -5 would be 52 instead of -24.

There is no intrinsic function you can use to create the desired sum, but you can create a formula to perform the task. One method is to use the SUMIF function, in the following manner:

```=SUMIF(A1:A10,">0")-SUMIF(A1:A10,"<0")
```

The first SUMIF sums all the values that are greater than zero, and the second sums all those less than zero. Thus, with the four values -33, 14, -5, 42, the first SUMIF would result in a sum of 56 (14 + 42) and the second would result in a sum of -38 (-33 + -5). When you subtract the second sum from the first (56 - -38) you get a final answer of 94, which is the sum of all the absolute values.

Another approach is to use the SUMPRODUCT function. The following formula will produce the desired result:

```=SUMPRODUCT(ABS(A1:A10))
```

The function is typically used to multiply different elements of arrays by each other, and then sum those products. Since only one array (A1:A10) is provided, there is no multiplication done, but a sum of the desired absolute values is returned.

You can also get the desired result by using an array formula, a convenient but seldom used feature of Excel. Assuming your values are in the range A1:A10, type this formula:

```=SUM(ABS(A1:A10))
```

If you are using a version of Excel prior to Excel 2021 or Excel in Microsoft 365, you'll need to enter this as an array formula. (In other words, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to enter the formula.) The formula internally creates the intermediate column (which is an array of values) which are the individual absolute values of A1:A10. It then sums this array and displays the result.

Finally, if you prefer you could create your own user-defined function (a macro) that will return the sum of the absolute values in a range. The following will accomplish the task:

```Function SumAbs(Rng As Range) As Double
Dim c As Range
Dim r As Double

r = 0
On Error Resume Next
For Each c In Rng
r = r + Abs(c)
Next c
SumAbs = r
End Function
```

You can use the function by entering a simple formula in your worksheet:

```=SumAbs(A1:A10)
```

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 (12615) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Summing Absolute Values.

##### 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 nine minus 3?

2024-04-07 12:12:24

Willy Vanhaelen

Here is a one-liner UDF that does the job:

Function SumAbs(Rng As Range)
SumAbs = Evaluate("SUM(ABS(" & Rng.Address & "))")
End Function

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