Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet software today, widely used in many fields such as finance, accounting, statistics,… In Excel, the subtraction function is one of the most basic and frequently used functions.

So what is the subtraction function in Excel and what is the general formula for this function? How to make the most of the subtraction function in Excel? Let’s find out all the details in the content below with FPT Shop.

**What is the subtraction function in Excel?**

The subtraction function in Excel is a simple yet powerful calculation tool that allows users to subtract between cells or between numeric values quickly and accurately. However, this function is not a separate function like SUM or AVERAGE. Instead of combining characters together, the subtraction function in Excel can be represented by a simple minus sign (**–**) between the cells or numeric values that you want to subtract. For example, if you want to subtract the value in cell B1 from the value in cell A1, you just need to enter the formula “**=B1-A1**” into another cell.

The subtraction function in Excel can be extended to include more than two values, and can be combined with other functions or formulas to create more complex calculations. This provides great flexibility for users when they want to perform data analysis and reporting.

In addition, using the subtraction function in Excel also helps users easily update and track data. When you change a value in a particular cell, the related formulas are automatically updated, saving a lot of time and effort.

**What is the general formula for the subtraction function in Excel?**

Unlike using the SUM or AVERAGE functions, the subtraction function in Excel has a very simple formula as follows:

**=First_Cell – Second_Cell – …**

In which, the arguments of the subtraction function are simply specific numbers or cells and other functions.

The flexibility of Excel in performing subtraction and other operations makes it easy for users to customize and analyze data according to their specific needs.

**Practical examples of using the subtraction function in Excel**

The subtraction function has many different applications. In this article, FPT Shop will share with you some practical examples of using the subtraction function in Excel:

**Example 1: Calculate profit from sales**

Assume you have a spreadsheet as shown above. The requirement is to calculate the profit from sales. That’s the process of calculating the amount you earn after subtracting all expenses related to production or purchasing goods. Profit is calculated by subtracting the cost (production or purchasing cost) from the selling price of the product or service.

The formula for calculating profit can be expressed as follows:

**Profit = Selling price – Cost**

Therefore, you just need to use the following formula in cell D2:

**=****B2-****C2**

**Example 2: Calculate remaining days until vacation**

Assume you have a spreadsheet as shown in the image above. Our goal will be to calculate the remaining days until the vacation starts. The result is the number of days remaining until you start your vacation.

To calculate the remaining days until vacation, you can use the following formula:

**Remaining days = Vacation start date – Current date**

Therefore, you will enter the following formula into cell C2:

**=B2-A2**

**Example 3: Calculate profit from sales after subtracting advertising costs**

Assume you have a spreadsheet as shown in the image above. To calculate the total profit from sales after subtracting advertising costs, you can use the following formula:

**Profit after costs = Gross profit – Advertising costs**

However, if you want to calculate the total profit for multiple products, you can use the SUM formula to summarize the profit of each product after subtracting advertising costs. This formula can be written as follows:

**Total profit after costs = SUM(Gross profit – Advertising costs)**

So, you will need to enter the following formula in cell B2:

**=SUM(B2:B3)-SUM(C2:C3)**

**Example 4: Calculate remaining vacation days of employees**

Assume you have a spreadsheet as shown above. To calculate the average remaining days off for employees, you can use the following formula:

**Average remaining days off = AVERAGE(Remaining days)**

“Remaining days” is column D, which contains the remaining days off for each employee. Therefore, you will use the subtraction function (**example: D2=B2-C2**) to calculate the remaining days off for each employee. Then, you can use the AVERAGE formula to calculate the average of the values in column D, that is the average remaining days off of the employees in the list.

So, you will need to use the following formula in cell D3:

**= ****AVERAGE(D2:D3)**

**Example 5: Calculate refund amount if the product is defective**

Assume you have a spreadsheet as shown in the image above. To calculate the refund amount if the product is defective, you can use the following formula:

**Refund amount = If the product is defective, return the price, otherwise return 0.**

In the spreadsheet:

- “Status” is column
**C**, which contains the status of the product (can be “Defective” or “Good”). - “Price” is column
**B**, which contains the price of the product. - “Refund” is column
**D**, which contains the refund amount for each product.

So, you will need to enter the following formula in cell D2:

**=IF(C2=”Defective”, B2, 0)**

In which:

- If the status of the product (column C) is “Defective” (condition in IF), the formula will return the price of the product (column B) as the refund amount.
- Otherwise, if the product is not defective (status is “Good”), the formula will return 0 for the “Refund” column to indicate that there is no refund for this product.

**Conclusion**

As you can see, mastering the use of the subtraction function in Excel not only helps you optimize your work process but also saves time and improves work efficiency. Whether you are a beginner or have many years of experience using Excel, understanding and flexibly applying functions, especially the subtraction function, will open up many opportunities and capabilities for you in data processing.