# How to Use the Absolute Value Shortcut in Excel (2023)

If you work with numbers in Excel, you may find yourself needing to take the absolute value of a number on occasion. The absolute value of a number is the number's distance from zero on a number line. In other words, it is the number's magnitude without regard to its sign. For example, the absolute value of both -5 and 5 is 5.

You can take the absolute value of a number in Excel using the ABS function. ABS is a built-in function in Excel that returns the absolute value of a number. The syntax for the ABS function is as follows:

=ABS(number)

where "number" is the number for which you want to take the absolute value. For example, to take the absolute value of -5, you would use the following formula:

=ABS(-5)

You can also use the ABS function to take the absolute value of a cell reference. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, you could use the following formula to take the absolute value of the contents of cell A1:

=ABS(A1)

If you want to take the absolute value of a range of cells, you can use the ABS function with the cell range reference. For example, if cells A1:A5 contain the values -5, -4, -3, -2, and -1, respectively, you could use the following formula to take the absolute value of the entire range:

=ABS(A1:A5)

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a number in Excel. To do this, simply select the cell containing the number for which you want to take the absolute value and press the F4 key on your keyboard. This will add the absolute value operator, which is the pipe character (|), to the beginning and end of the number. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, pressing the F4 key will change the value to |-5|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of -5.

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a cell reference. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, you could press the F4 key to change the cell reference to |A1|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of the contents of cell A1.

If you want to take the absolute value of a range of cells, you can use the shortcut method with the cell range reference. For example, if cells A1:A5 contain the values -5, -4, -3, -2, and -1, respectively, you could press the F4 key to change the cell reference to |A1:A5|. The result of this is 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1, which are the absolute values of the respective cells.

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a number in Excel by selecting the cell containing the number and pressing the CTRL+SHIFT+7 keys on your keyboard. This will add the absolute value operator, which is the pipe character (|), to the beginning and end of the number. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, pressing CTRL+SHIFT+7 will change the value to |-5|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of -5.

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a cell reference. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, you could press CTRL+SHIFT+7 to change the cell reference to |A1|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of the contents of cell A1.

If you want to take the absolute value of a range of cells, you can use the shortcut method with the cell range reference. For example, if cells A1:A5 contain the values -5, -4, -3, -2, and -1, respectively, you could press CTRL+SHIFT+7 to change the cell reference to |A1:A5|. The result of this is 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1, which are the absolute values of the respective cells.

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a number in Excel by selecting the cell containing the number and pressing the CTRL+SHIFT+A keys on your keyboard. This will add the absolute value operator, which is the pipe character (|), to the beginning and end of the number. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, pressing CTRL+SHIFT+A will change the value to |-5|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of -5.

You can also use the shortcut method to take the absolute value of a cell reference. For example, if cell A1 contains the value -5, you could press CTRL+SHIFT+A to change the cell reference to |A1|. The result of this is 5, which is the absolute value of the contents of cell A1.

If you want to take the absolute value of a range of cells, you can use the shortcut method with the cell range reference. For example, if cells A1:A5 contain the values -5, -4, -3, -2, and -1, respectively, you could press CTRL+SHIFT+A to change the cell reference to |A1:A5|. The result of this is 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1, which are the absolute values of the respective cells.

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you manage and analyze data with ease. However, it can be overwhelming to navigate through all the features and functions that Excel offers. One of the most useful shortcuts in Excel is the absolute value shortcut. In this article, we will explore what absolute value is, why it is important, and how to use the absolute value shortcut in Excel.

## What is Absolute Value?

Absolute value is a mathematical concept that refers to the distance of a number from zero. It is always a positive number, regardless of whether the original number is positive or negative. For example, the absolute value of -5 is 5, and the absolute value of 5 is also 5.

Absolute value is important in many areas of mathematics, including algebra, calculus, and statistics. In Excel, absolute value is often used in formulas and functions to calculate the distance between two numbers or to ignore negative values.

## Why is Absolute Value Important in Excel?

Excel is often used to analyze data, and absolute value can be a useful tool in this process. For example, if you are working with financial data, you may want to calculate the difference between two numbers, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Absolute value can help you do this.

Another reason why absolute value is important in Excel is that it can be used to ignore negative values. For example, if you are calculating the average of a set of numbers, you may want to ignore any negative values. Absolute value can help you do this by converting all negative values to positive values.

## How to Use the Absolute Value Shortcut in Excel

Excel offers a shortcut for calculating absolute value. To use this shortcut, follow these steps:

### Step 1: Select the cell where you want to calculate absolute value

Click on the cell where you want to calculate absolute value. This will be the cell where the result of the calculation will be displayed.

### Step 2: Type the formula

Type the formula =ABS( ) into the cell. The ABS function tells Excel to calculate the absolute value of the number or cell reference that you specify.

### Step 3: Enter the number or cell reference

Enter the number or cell reference that you want to calculate the absolute value of inside the parentheses. For example, if you want to calculate the absolute value of the number in cell A1, you would enter =ABS(A1).

### Step 4: Press Enter

Press Enter to calculate the absolute value. The result will be displayed in the cell that you selected in Step 1.

## Conclusion

The absolute value shortcut is a powerful tool that can help you manage and analyze data in Excel. By understanding what absolute value is, why it is important, and how to use the absolute value shortcut, you can take your Excel skills to the next level. Whether you are working with financial data, statistical data, or any other type of data, the absolute value shortcut can help you make sense of your data and make informed decisions.

## FAQs

### How do I shortcut absolute value in Excel? ›

There is a shortcut for placing absolute cell references in your formulas! When you are typing your formula, after you type a cell reference - press the F4 key. Excel automatically makes the cell reference absolute! By continuing to press F4, Excel will cycle through all of the absolute reference possibilities.

Why is my F4 not working in Excel? ›

First, make sure that your function key isn't locked. Some keyboards have a function lock key that can prevent the F4 key from working as expected. Look for a key labeled "Fn Lock" or "F Lock" and try pressing it to toggle the function lock on and off.

Is there a way to F4 multiple cells in Excel? ›

To use the F4 shortcut, simply select the cell reference(s) that you want to change and press the F4 key. If you want to change multiple cell references, you can select them all by holding down the Shift key and then pressing the F4 key.

How to do absolute reference in Excel without F4? ›

If you want to maintain the original cell reference when you copy it, you "lock" it by putting a dollar sign (\$) before the cell and column references. For example, when you copy the formula =\$A\$2+\$B\$2 from C2 to D2, the formula stays exactly the same. This is an absolute reference.

What is the shortcut for absolute value on keyboard? ›

Absolute values are entered with the | key. On most keyboards it is above the Enter key and shares the key with \. To enter | you hold Shift when entering. On some keyboards, especially languages other than English, this key is show as two vertical dashes - one above the other.

What is the formula for absolute change in Excel? ›

Subtract the expected value from the actual value (or the other way round) and get the absolute value of the difference: ABS(A2-B2) Check if the absolute value is less than or equal to the allowed tolerance: ABS(A2-B2)<=C2. Use the IF statement to return the desired messages.

What is Ctrl Shift F4 in Excel? ›

Adding Ctrl to Shift + F4 will make the find go in reverse to locate the previous cell. This means that you can close the Find Window and use these shortcuts to find and select the next/previous match on the sheet or workbook.

What happens when you click F4 twice in Excel? ›

Press the F4 key twice Row Reference Allows changing the column reference but the row reference is fixed. Press the F4 key thrice Column Reference Allows changing the row reference but the column reference is fixed.

What happens when you press F4 four times in Excel? ›

Press F4 key three times: The cell reference changes from A1 to \$A1 (changes to mixed reference where the column is locked). Press F4 key four times: The cell reference becomes A1 again.

How do you apply absolute value to multiple cells? ›

We can use SUM ARRAY along with ABS to get the absolute value of a series of numbers in column or row. Suppose we are given a few numbers as below, so in this scenario, the SUM array formula for absolute values would be =SUM(ABS(A2:A6)). Now, select cell A7 in your spreadsheet, and enter the formula '=SUM(ABS(A2:A6))'.

### How do you make multiple cells absolute? ›

Another way to convert from relative to absolute is to use the F4 key. To do this, select the cell or range of cells that you want to convert. Then, press the F4 key on your keyboard. This will cycle through the different reference options and eventually land on an absolute reference.

How do I activate FN F4? ›

The first way is to hold down the FN key and then press the F4 key. The second way is to press the F4 key directly. It has multiple functions, depending on what program you're using it with. In Microsoft Word, for example, the F4 key repeats the last action you took.

How do I close Excel without Alt F4? ›

Sometimes you want to close only a Workbook, not Excel. In this case, use the Ctrl + W or the Ctrl + F4 command to close the Workbook. If you have an unsaved Workbook, you have to save it.

How do you enter absolute value? ›

The most common way to represent the absolute value of a number or expression is to surround it with the absolute value symbol: two vertical straight lines. |6| = 6 means “the absolute value of 6 is 6.”

How to do absolute value in code? ›

In the C programming language, the use of the function abs in C is to return the absolute value of an integer. By integer, it means that the abs() is an arithmetics function. The stdlib. h library contains predefined function abs() for computing the absolute value of integers.

Which function key on the keyboard is used to create an absolute reference for a formula in Excel? ›

For instance, \$D\$2 is an absolute reference to cell D2. The key F4 in Excel is a shortcut to Absolute Reference. Making the cell reference absolute ensures that it remains constant regardless of whether the formula is transferred to a different worksheet or workbook.

How do I get only positive values in Excel? ›

To sum only positive values in Excel, you can use the SUMIF function. This function allows you to specify a criteria, and then sum only the cells that meet that criteria. In this case, the criteria would be "greater than 0". This will sum all values in the range A1:A10 that are greater than 0.

How do I make all numbers positive in Excel? ›

On the Home tab, click on the Number Format button. In the Number Format dialog box, select Positive from the dropdown list. Click OK.

What is Ctrl Shift L in Excel? ›

If you want to filter data based on a specific cell value, you can use the "Ctrl+Shift+L" shortcut to activate AutoFilter, then select the cell containing the value you want to filter by, and press "Ctrl+Shift+L" again. This will filter the data based on the selected cell value.

What is Ctrl Q in Excel? ›

Ctrl+Q in Microsoft Excel

In Microsoft Excel, pressing Ctrl + Q exits the program. Microsoft Excel keyboard shortcuts.

### What does Ctrl Shift K do in Excel? ›

Ctrl+K in Excel and other spreadsheet programs

In Microsoft Excel, Ctrl + K inserts a hyperlink in the currently-active cell or location.

What does Shift F2 do in Excel? ›

Shift+F2 adds or edits a cell comment.

What does '\$' mean in Excel formula? ›

The dollar sign fixes the reference to a given cell, so that it remains unchanged no matter where the formula moves. In other words, using \$ in cell references allows you to copy the formula in Excel without changing references.

What is the F5 key used for? ›

F5: Opens a document in programs that support this command. F12: Prints the file in the active window. F3: Cancels the previous undo action.

What does Alt F5 do in Excel? ›

6. Ctrl + Alt + F5. The Ctrl + Alt + F5 key opens the Refresh Data dialog box. This shortcut is useful when you need to refresh data from an external data source.

How to Alt F4 without F4? ›

If Alt + F4 doesn't work, you can close an active application using Task Manager. To do this, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then click Task Manager. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager or right-click on the program you're trying to close and click "End task."

What is Ctrl Alt F4? ›

Ctrl+Alt+F4 or Alt+Ctrl+F4 is a keyboard shortcut used to switch between open console windows in Linux.

How do you apply absolute reference to multiple cells at once in Excel? ›

Applying Absolute Cell Referencing to Multiple Cells

Press F2 to enter edit mode for the first cell in the range. Move the cursor to the cell reference that you want to make absolute (e.g. A1). Press F4 to change the cell reference to absolute. Press Enter to confirm the change and move to the next cell in the range.

Can you combine two absolute values? ›

The absolute value of an integer will always be positive (or zero). To add two integers using the absolute value strategy first look at the signs of the two integers. If the two integers have the same sign: Add their absolute values.

How do I make multiple cells constant in Excel? ›

Use a constant to enter values in multiple columns and rows
1. Select the cells you want. Make sure the number of rows and columns you select matches the number of values in your constant. ...
2. Enter an equal sign and your constant. ...
3. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, and:

### What to do if Alt F4 doesn t work? ›

There are a few ways to restart your Windows PC if the ALT + F4 shortcut is not functioning. One way is to click the Start button, then click the Power symbol, and then choose Restart. Another way is to press and hold the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager, then click the File menu and click Restart.

What does F1 F2 F3 f5 F4 do? ›

F1 – Opens the Help screen for almost every program. F2 – Allows you to rename a selected file or folder. F3 – Opens a search feature for an application that is active at the moment. F4 – Alt + F4 closes the active window.

What does Alt F4 and Fn do? ›

So, press the Alt+Fn+F4 shortcut to close the active window.

What key can I use instead of F4? ›

3: You are using a laptop keyboard

Laptop keyboards are smaller than stationary ones so typically, the F-keys (like F4) are used for something else. This is easily fixed! Just hold down the Fn key before you press F4 and it'll work.

What is F4 shortcuts in Excel? ›

F4 is a predefined keyboard shortcut in Excel that repeats your last command or action.

What is the shortcut for absolute value in Excel for Mac? ›

On a Mac, the shortcut for absolute reference is to hold the Command and T keys.

How do I make cells always positive in Excel? ›

On the Home tab, click on the Number Format button. In the Number Format dialog box, select Positive from the dropdown list. Click OK.

How do I change negative to positive in Excel? ›

Multiply with Minus One to Convert a Positive Number

So you can use the same method in excel to convert a negative number into a positive. All you have to do is just multiply a negative value with -1 and it will return the positive number instead of the negative. Below you have a range of cells with negative numbers.

How to do F4 absolute reference in Excel on Mac? ›

How to create an absolute reference in Excel for Mac
1. Open the Excel document that you want to work with.
2. Click on the cell that you want to make an absolute reference.
3. Type the equal sign (=) to start the formula.
4. Click on the cell that you want to reference. ...
5. Press the Fn + F4 keys to make the reference absolute.

How do you use F4 in Excel on a Mac? ›

Simply place your cursor in the cell reference and press F4. Each time you press F4, Excel will cycle through the different reference types: relative, absolute row, absolute column, and absolute row and column.

### What is the F4 key on a Mac? ›

If you are using Mac, the F4 key is usually used for system features, like opening up the launchpad application or changing the brightness of the screen. If you want to use F4 to play and pause audio in MAXQDA for Mac, you can find an option to do so in “System Preferences > Keyboard”.

What is the absolute reference in Excel? ›

What Is An Absolute Reference? In Excel, an absolute reference is a cell reference in which the column and row coordinates stay constant while copying a formula from one cell to the other. A dollar symbol (\$) is used before the coordinates to correct them. For instance, \$D\$2 is an absolute reference to cell D2.

How do I stop a cell from going negative in Excel? ›

Show a Zero for a Negative Number

Use the below steps to apply it. Select a cell or range of cells. Press the Shortcut key Control + 1 (Command +1 if you are using Mac) to open the Format Cells dialog box. Click on the Custom Option and enter the 0;”0″;0 into the input box.

How do I show positive and negative numbers in Excel? ›

Change the way negative numbers are displayed
1. Select the cell or range of cells that you want to format with a negative number style.
2. If you're using Windows, press Ctrl+1. If you're using a Mac, press. +1.
3. In the Category box, click either Number or Currency.
4. Under Negative numbers, select an option for negative numbers.

How do you turn negative into positive? ›

12 Tips to Turn Those Negative Thoughts Into Positive Actions
1. Start a Journal. ...
2. Always Ask Yourself, "What Would I Say to a Friend?" ...
3. Say "Stop" ...
4. Change Negativity to Neutrality. ...
5. Create an SOS File of Positive Praise. ...
6. Breathe. ...
7. Talk to Somebody. ...
Jul 7, 2021

How do you make a negative number positive in sheets? ›

Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet. Select the cell where you want to convert the negative number to a positive number. Type: =SIGN(number) into the cell and replace number with the cell reference or value that you want to convert. Press Enter to apply the formula and see the result.

How do you make a negative number positive? ›

If you subtract a negative number, the two negatives combine to make a positive. −10−(−10) is not −20. Instead, you can think of it as turning one of the negative signs upright, to cross over the other, and make a plus.

What is the shortcut to change a number from positive to negative in Excel? ›

Here are the steps:
1. Select the cell where you want to enter the formula.
2. Type the following formula: =-A1 (replace "A1" with the cell reference of the positive number you want to change to negative).
3. Press "Enter" on your keyboard. The cell will now display the negative value of the original positive number.

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