How To Subtract In Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, subtract numbers by using the minus sign (-) between the two values, and the expectation will be the result of the subtraction.

Google Sheets is a powerful tool that offers a multitude of features to enhance your productivity and streamline your data management. One of the fundamental operations you’ll often need to perform is subtraction. Whether you’re working on a financial spreadsheet or analyzing numerical data, knowing how to subtract in Google Sheets is essential. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps to subtract numbers, cells, and ranges in Google Sheets, as well as explore some useful tips and tricks to make your subtraction calculations even more efficient. So, let’s dive in and discover the art of subtraction in Google Sheets!

How To Subtract In Google Sheets: Step-by-Step


Step 1: Open the Google Sheets Document

Once you navigate to, ensure the document contains the required data for subtraction. In case it is empty, manually insert the necessary data to perform the subtraction successfully.

Next Step

Step 2: Select the Cell to Display the Result

To display the subtraction result, click on the cell where you want it to appear. Simply use your mouse to select the desired cell and the result will be displayed there.

Next Step

Step 3: Enable the Formula Mode

To subtract numbers in Google Sheets, simply type “=” in the cell where you want the result, then enter the formula. This helps you perform accurate calculations and obtain the desired outcome efficiently.

Next Step

Step 4: Type the Subtraction Formula

Once you’ve activated the formula mode, you have the ability to enter subtraction formulas. For instance, “=B2-C2” signifies that B2 represents the value in the cell labeled B2, while C2 represents the value in the cell labeled C2.

Next Step

Step 5: Execute the Formula

Once you have entered the formula, simply hit the Enter key on your keyboard to run it. The result of the subtraction operation will then be displayed in the cell you previously selected in Step 2.

Next Step

Step 6: Verifying the Result

To validate the correctness of the subtraction operation in step 4, compare the result in the selected cell with the expected outcome. If they match, it confirms that the operation was executed accurately.

Next Step

Step 7: Save your Worksheet

Remember to save your worksheet to keep changes. Google Sheets auto-saves your work, but confirming manually is a good practice.


Mastering the art of subtracting in Google Sheets is an essential skill for anyone who wants to harness the full potential of this powerful spreadsheet tool. Whether you’re managing your personal finances, analyzing data for work, or simply organizing information, being able to subtract values accurately and efficiently is crucial. Through this guide, we’ve explored the various methods available, including the simple subtraction formula, the SUM function with a negative value, and the handy subtraction shortcuts. By practicing and familiarizing yourself with these techniques, you can streamline your calculations, perform complex operations with ease, and save valuable time. So, go ahead and start subtracting like a pro in Google Sheets—unlock a whole new level of productivity and accuracy in your spreadsheet endeavors!

Table of Contents