How to Return Absolute Value of a Number in Excel

To return an absolute value of a number in Excel requires the use of the ABS Function.  An absolute value of a number is a the number without its sign, for example a + or –.

The correct syntax for the ABS Function is simple and shown below:


Where (number) represents the actual number you want an absolute value for.  This could be the number itself or the reference of a cell containing your actual number.  For example:



So let’s assume cell A1 has -2 written in it.  You could get the absolute value of this in another cell with two different methods…

=ABS(-2) or =ABS(A1)

Both the above formula would result in a 2 being returned.

The ABS function can also be used in VBA.  So let’s assume you have declared (dimmed) a variable for your number and called it lNumber.

Then to give the variable its value you would use ABS first.  So lNumber=ABS(-2)

Nice short post.  Hope you find it useful!

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