Hope my blabbering will make sense to someone.

I'm trying to create a spreadsheet in Google Sheets to record profits and losses. I've used the =ABS(A1-A2) formula to get the differences in between two cells values, but I've noticed that it doesn't recognize negative number differences.

For Example: Cell A1 is $10.00, and cell A2 is $7.50. The difference in that is -$2.50. It does that, but it marks it as '$2.50', not '-$2.50'.

Does anyone know a formula or a way for Google Sheets to recognise whether the value in Cell A2 is lower or higher than the cell in A1?

Any help would be appreciated, have been trying to work this out for an hour!

  • 2
    Then why do you use ABS()? – Oleg_S Mar 17 at 11:24
  • 1
    To add to @Oleg_S point - ABS is a function which takes the ABSolute value of a number, throwing away the sign. You probably just need =A1-A2 with no functions at all. – AdamV Mar 17 at 12:27

You said ABS(A1-A2)

and A2=7.50

To find the difference, just do A1-A2

  • Yes I am aware of that, that was not my question. My question is: How do I get the the difference between the two numbers to show as "-$2.50" instead of just "$2.50". ABS seems to only find the difference, but it does not record whether the difference is positive or negative. – Kyle Novakovic Mar 18 at 8:55
  • 1
    @KyleNovakovic ABS() returns absolute value, that's why you get $2.50 instead of -$2.50. ABS(7.50-10) = ABS(-2.5) = 2.5. You need to simple subtraction A1 - A2 – Oleg_S Mar 18 at 9:23
  • @Oleg_S Thanks Oleg, but is there no formula to recognise whether is positive or negative automatically? I'm pretty sure Excel has a formula which does that. Does Google Sheets not having anything similar? – Kyle Novakovic Mar 18 at 9:58

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