How to use ABS Function in Excel

An Excel Function is a predefined formula that executes the actions like calculating values in a precise order. The common functions of Excel are AGGREGATE, AVERAGE, COUNT, INDEX, ROUND, SUM etc. In this blog, we are going to see all the Excel Functions one by one in depth. Also, you will learn the different parts of a function and how to create arguments in them correctly.


In this blog, we are going to learn everything about the Excel ABS Function. The ‘ABS’ is the abbreviation of Absolute value used in Math & Trig. Excel ABS Function returns the absolute value of a number where negative numbers get converted into positive numbers, and positive numbers remain unaffected.

  • What is an ABS Function in Excel?
  • Where do you find the ABS Function?
  • What is the Formula for Excel ABS Function?
  • Where to use the Excel ABS Function?

➡ What is an ABS Function in Excel?

The Microsoft Excel Function that returns the absolute value of a number is called ABS Function.

It is an Excel built-in function that is classified as a Math Function. It is also used in Excel VBA in macro code that is entered through the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor. The ABS Function is entered as part of a formula in a worksheet.

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➡ Where do you find the ABS Function?

ABS Function can be found at following places in Excel:

>> In the AutoSum drop down menu- AutoSum drop down menu is at the Home ribbon editing group. Go to the More Functions option and select the Math & Trig category in the Insert Function dialog box to open the ABS Function.

>> From “fx” Function- You can directly open the Insert Function dialog box using the “fx” function located below the ribbon.

>> From the Formula Ribbon- Go to the Formula tab on the ribbon and click on the dropdown of Math & Trig option to select the ABS Function.

➡ What is the formula for Excel ABS Function?

The syntax to write the Excel ABS Function is:

ABS (number)

Where number is the figure in the cell that gets return as a positive number.

➡ Where to use the Excel ABS Function?

ABS Function is used to measure the distance of a number from zero.

You can use ABS Function to add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers to find their absolute value in Excel.

➡ Example:

As shown in picture below you have the positive and negative values in Input 1 column. We have taken the absolute value of Input 1 using the ABS formula where it has returned a value 30 for -30 in output 1.

Also, in Input 2 column we have positive and negative values. In output 2 column, we have shown the result for subtraction of the values from Input 1 and Input 2 column.

How to use Excel ABS Function

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➡ Points to remember:

  1. ABS Function can convert only a single value at a time. You cannot convert two values together into one formula.
  2. ABS Function does not allow wildcard characters.
  3. If the arrays in the formula do not have the numeric values then it will return #VALUE! Error.
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➡ Conclusion

This function is a very useful function in Excel as it helps returns the absolute value of a number whether negative or positive. It returns numeric value only. You can also combine this function with other function as well. This function is used to handle negative numbers of data.