The ABS function in Excel is used to return the absolute value of a number. It disregards the negative or positive sign and converts the number to its positive equivalent. This function is handy for situations where only the magnitude of the value matters, irrespective of its sign.



number The numerical value for which the absolute value is to be determined.

About ABS

When you need to disassociate a value from its sign and focus solely on its magnitude, the ABS function plays a vital role. Excel's ABS function swiftly returns the positive equivalent of a given number, eliminating any negative sign that may be attached. This is particularly beneficial for various mathematical and statistical operations, where the direction of change is inconsequential, and only the numerical distance matters. ABS facilitates the effortless extraction of positive values, streamlining analytical processes with its simplicity and effectiveness. It exudes versatility, proving its utility across diverse scenarios where absolute values take precedence over the sign of the numbers involved, rendering it an indispensable tool in the Excel arsenal.


If cell A1 contains the value -50, then the formula =ABS(A1) returns 50, reflecting the absolute value of -50 as its positive equivalent.

Suppose cell B2 holds the value 75.89. The formula =ABS(B2) yields 75.89, as the absolute value of a positive number remains unchanged.


How does the ABS function handle positive and negative numbers?

The ABS function ignores the negative or positive sign of a number and returns its positive equivalent. For positive numbers, it simply returns the number as is.

Can the ABS function be applied to non-numeric values?

No, the ABS function treats non-numeric inputs as errors. It should only be used with numerical values to obtain their absolute equivalents.

In what scenarios is the ABS function particularly useful?

The ABS function is especially handy in scenarios where the direction or sign of a value is irrelevant, and only the numerical magnitude holds significance. This includes calculations involving distances, differences, deviations, and other scenarios where the absolute value is pertinent.

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