How to Calculate Absolute Value in Excel

After you’ve used Excel for a while, you might wonder if it has an absolute value function. There is, thank goodness. A number’s absolute value is how far away it is from 0. So, even if the value is negative, the absolute value is always a positive number. The absolute value of -7, for example, is 7. So you don’t really need a spreadsheet to find the absolute values of negative numbers. But Excel can help you find the absolute value of a range of positive and negative numbers. This is how to add absolute values in Excel for a set of numbers with both positive and negative numbers.

How the ABS Works

ABS is a function that can be added to Excel spreadsheets. This is a function that takes a number in a single cell and gives back its absolute value. It’s a simple function that doesn’t add absolute values. ABS is put together like this: ABS (number).

Open a blank Excel spreadsheet and type “-3454” in cell B3 as an example. Then, choose cell B4 and press the fx button to open the Insert Function window. Choose All from the “Or choose a category” drop-down menu, then click “ABS” to open the window shown in the picture below.

When figuring out a number’s absolute value, any negative signs are taken away. This means that the absolute value can only be zero or a positive number. As an example, 100 would be the absolute value of -100. The ABS function in Excel makes it possible to figure out the absolute value. If any number or equation is put inside this function, the function will return a positive number.

Step 1: Start up Microsoft Excel and open a spreadsheet.

Step 2: Find the number or equation whose absolute value you need to figure out. You could also click a cell where you want to add a new calculation.

Step 3 Encase the number or equation with “=ABS(” on it’s left side, and “)” on its right side. For example, to calculate the absolute value of -100, enter “=ABS(-100)” in the cell. For the equation “=SUM(A1+A2+A3),” enter “=ABS(SUM(A1+A2+A3))” in the cell.

Putting the ABS and SUMPRODUCT functions together

You can add ABS to other functions in Excel to figure out the absolute value of both positive and negative numbers. One of the functions that can be used with ABS to find the absolute value for a range of positive and negative numbers is SUMPRODUCT.

Use SUMIF to find the exact value.

With the SUMIF function, you can add up all the values that meet a certain set of rules. As a result, SUMIF can also be used to find the absolute value of a group of cells that have been added together. SUMIF is written as follows: SUMIF(range, criteria, [sum range]).

The function takes the sum of all the positive numbers and takes away all the negative numbers. You can use that function in any spreadsheet by making changes to the cell references.

The SUM Formula for an Array

Excel array formulas enable users to do multiple calculations for an array (or column of values). So, you can also add an SUM array formula to Excel that returns the absolute value of a set of numbers in a column or row. To add an array formula to a spreadsheet, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

=SUM(ABS(A2:A4)) is the formula for absolute values in an SUM array. In the fx bar, choose cell A7 on your spreadsheet and type =SUM(ABS(A2:A4)). But don’t just press the Enter key. After entering the formula in the fx bar, you should instead press the shortcut key combination Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Then the formula will be surrounded by braces, as shown in the picture below. This array formula also puts 15 in cell A7, which is the absolute value of the data in cells A2–A4.