ABS function

The ABS function in Excel returns the absolute value of a number. It simply converts any negative number into its positive counterpart. This function is commonly used in various mathematical and financial calculations.




numberThe number for which you want to find the absolute value.

How to Use

You can use the ABS function in Excel by providing a number as its argument. It will return the absolute value of that number. Here’s a simple example:

This formula will return the result:

Optional: If you have a cell reference that contains a number, you can use it as the argument. For example:

Assuming cell A1 contains the value -7, this formula will return:

Remember that the ABS function is very useful for handling scenarios where you need the positive magnitude of a number, regardless of its sign.


Here are a few more examples of using the ABS function:

Example 1

Example 2

(Optional) Advanced Use: You can also use the ABS function within other formulas or functions to manipulate data. For instance, you can calculate the sum of the absolute values of a range of numbers like this:

This formula will sum the absolute values of the numbers in cells A1 through A5.

Additional Information

If you’re not familiar with the term “absolute value,” it represents the distance of a number from zero on the number line. For positive numbers, their absolute value is the same as the number itself. For negative numbers, it is the positive counterpart of the number. You can find more information on absolute value on Wikipedia.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.