How To Do Subtraction In Google Sheets

Google Sheets, a cloud-based spreadsheet program from Google, allows users to perform a multitude of mathematical operations. Whether in business or personal use, doing subtraction is one of the most basic and essential operations to know. In this blog post, we will guide you through a step-by-step process on how to perform subtraction in Google Sheets.

Subtraction Using a Simple Formula

The simplest way to perform subtraction is by using a formula. For instance, if you want to subtract cell B2 from cell A2, you would use the following formula:


Now, let’s understand this process in depth with step by step instructions.

  1. Select an empty cell where you want the result of the subtraction to be displayed.
  2. Type = into the cell. This tells Google Sheets that you’re going to input a formula.
  3. Select the cell that contains the number you want to subtract from (minuend).
  4. Now type (which is the minus sign).
  5. Select the second cell that contains the number to be subtracted (subtrahend).
  6. Press Enter to complete the formula. Google Sheets will then calculate the result.

You can either manually type the cell references (like A2, B2) or click on the cells while typing the formula and Google Sheets will automatically insert the correct cell reference.

Subtraction of Multiple Numbers

You can also subtract multiple numbers at once by extending the formula. For example, if you want to subtract B2, C2, and D2 from A2, you would use the following formula:


Following the same steps as above, you can add as many cells to the formula as you need to get the desired result.


Performing subtraction in Google sheets is incredibly straightforward. With a simple formula, you can quickly perform the operation and automate your calculation process. Whether you’re managing budgets, tracking expenses, or doing complex data analysis, knowing how to do subtraction is a cornerstone of using Google Sheets effectively.