How to subtract in Excel | Excel Formulas For Subtraction

In this tutorial we’ll learn how to use subtract excel formula and how to subtract percentages, dates, time and much more.

Starting with the most basic question, what is subtract in excel. Subtraction is a simple arithmetic operation used to remove numbers from a collection of numbers. Without further ado, let’s jump in and see subtraction in excel works.

Subtract Excel Formula

Now one thing you should know is that, there is no specific excel formula to minus or a given subtract formula in excel.
To subtract in excel, we simply use the Minus – sign.

  1. We want to calculate profit from the data below. So we need to subtract Expenses from Revenue. So go to cell and type =A2-B2

  2. You can see the subtracted value or the profit.

Subtract Multiple Cells From One Cell

Let’s see how to subtract in excel multiple cells from one cell.

Method 1

  1. One simple way is to subtract each cell individually, here’s how.

Method 2

  1. Other way is to first SUM up all Expenses then deduct the total from Revenue.

How to subtract columns in Excel

The process of how to subtract excel columns is same as we saw above.

  1. Let’s subtract column C from column B. Type =C2-B2

  2. Now just drag the formula down to subtract rest of the values.

How to subtract same number from column of numbers

To subtract the same number, we have to fix the cell reference by making the cell absolute.

  1. Type the formula =D2-$H$2 and hit enter

  2. Now just drag the formula down to rest of the cells.

How to subtract percentage in excel

There is no separate excel subtract percentage formula, the process to subtract percentages is same as show above.

  1. Just as we subtracted numbers, subtract percentage. Type =A2-B2

Now if you from to subtract a percentage value from a number, the formula would look a little different.

  1. Type the formula =A2-(A2*B2)

Excel Subtract Dates

The process to subtract dates in excel is same as above.

  1. Type =B2=A2 This will give you the number of days between both the dates.

How to subtract time in Excel

On backend the time values are stored as numbers only, so just like we can subtract numbers – we can subtract time in excel.
If you want to excel subtract hours and calculate difference between 2 time values, just follow the same process.

  1. Type =B2-A2 This will give you the time difference in terms of hours

In case you get the subtracted value in another format, just go to Home tab and under Number Formats select General.

Subtract Text in Excel

You can also subtract text, but here instead of just using the Minus sign, we’ll have to use 2 formulas – SUBSTITUTE & TRIM

  1. To remove the word “Management” from the word “Business Management”. Type =TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(A2,B2,””))


To quickly recap, remember there is no separate excel formula to subtract, to subtract you just have to use the – Minus sign.

I hope this tutorial helped you understand how to subtract in excel- numbers, time, dates, months, percentages, text and much more.

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