The SIGN function in Excel is a simple yet powerful function that helps you determine the sign of a number. It returns one of three values: 1 if the number is positive, -1 if the number is negative, and 0 if the number is zero. This function is particularly useful when you want to classify data or perform conditional calculations based on the sign of a number.

## Syntax

**SIGN(number)**

## Arguments

number | The number for which you want to determine the sign. |

## How to use

To use the SIGN function, follow this simple syntax:

1 |
=SIGN(number) |

Where `number`

is the numeric value you want to check.

Here are some examples of how you can use the SIGN function:

**Example 1:**

Suppose you have a list of numbers in column A, and you want to classify them as positive, negative, or zero. You can use the SIGN function in column B to achieve this:

1 |
=SIGN(A1) |

Copy this formula down the column, and it will return 1 for positive numbers, -1 for negative numbers, and 0 for zeros.

**Example 2:**

You can also use the SIGN function in conditional formulas. For instance, if you want to calculate the absolute difference between two numbers, you can use the following formula:

1 |
=ABS(number1 - number2) |

Where `number1`

and `number2`

are the two values you want to find the absolute difference between. The SIGN function is implicitly used here to ensure the result is always positive.

**Example 3 (Optional):**

If you want to determine the sign of a number without using the SIGN function, you can achieve the same result using an IF formula. For example:

1 |
=IF(A1 > 0, 1, IF(A1 < 0, -1, 0)) |

This nested IF formula will also classify numbers as positive, negative, or zero.

The SIGN function is a quick and efficient way to work with the sign of numbers in Excel, making your calculations and data analysis tasks easier.