One of the four basic math operations, subtraction is a breeze in a spreadsheet. That’s true even with large numbers – no pen and paper needed. Let’s learn **how to subtract in Microsoft Excel.**

## How to Subtract in Excel (With New Values)

Though the concept is simple, subtraction can become difficult, especially if you’re working with large, non-round values. Fortunately, Microsoft Excel has you covered. It’s easy to subtract two or more numbers, with just a few keystrokes.

Let’s say you want to subtract **2174** from **5003.** To do it, begin by clicking into any empty cell in your file. Start by typing an **=** sign, which tells Excel that you’re going to be building a formula in that cell.

Type **5003**, then press **–** on your keyboard. Finish by typing **2174.** Your finished formula reads:

=5003-2174

Go ahead and press the **Enter** key on your keyboard. Excel returns your solution in the cell: **2829**. Isn’t that easier than solving on paper?

If you want to subtract more than one number, simply continue typing. For example, you can remove 1000 by changing your formula to read:

=5003-2174-1000

## How to Subtract in Excel (With Existing Values)

Now, imagine you have some numbers and want to subtract them from each other. They’re already on your spreadsheet, so you don’t want to type them in again.

Find an empty cell, and repeat the earlier step of typing **=.** Now, click on the cell containing your first number. Here, that’s cell **B2.** Then, type **–**, and click on cell **C2. **Finally, type **–** again, and click cell **D2.** Your subtraction formula now reads:

**=B2-C2-D2.**

Press **Enter**, and Excel will instantly perform the subtraction.

As you can see, Microsoft Excel makes basic math equations simple. It’s a true timesaver, especially when you’re working with lengthy, complex, or multiple values at once.