How to Subtract in Google Sheets

I will show you how to subtract massive columns of numerical data from each other. It is a super simple 3-step process that I will walk you through.

It is pretty straight forward, but there's no shame in an easy tutorial on how to subtract on google sheets.

Let's jump right in!

Step #1: Select the Cell

Subtracting in Google Sheets Step 1

First, you must select the "cell" where you want the subtraction results to appear. I recommended that you select the topmost cell within the column if you plan to subtract entire columns from each other or multiple cells. The big thing when subtracting cells in google sheets is to think about where you want the functions to start and end.

Step #2: Subtract

There are two methods for how you can subtract in Google Sheets:

"=Cell 1-Cell 2" and "=MINUS(Cell 1,Cell 2)"

Method A: "=Minus

(Cell 1,Cell 2)"

Subtracting in Google Sheets Step 2

Now, simply use the "=MINUS()" function (very similar to the sum function). Then, you will type in the cell coordinates of the numbers. Since this way uses cell references, it is important that you separate these coordinates with a comma and close the parentheses.

From there, simply hit enter and your result should appear in the cell that you selected in Step #1. 

Method B: "=Cell 1-Cell 2"

Subtracting in Google Sheets Step 2 Method B

Alternatively, you could choose to use the simple subtraction formula

"=Cell 1 - Cell 2" 

Some people prefer to use this function because it is more natural. 

From there, simply hit enter and your result should appear in the cell that you selected in Step #1. 

Step #3: Click and Drag

Subtracting in Google Sheets Step 3

Once you hit enter, you will be able to fill out the rest of the column automatically. Simply click and drag the topmost product cell from the top to bottom row. 

The function will be applied to each new cell, subtracting cells in google sheets as you drag down the column.


And there you have it; that is how you subtract columns in Google Sheets.

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