UMINUS: Google Sheets Formulas Explained

When it comes to spreadsheets, Google Sheets is one of the best tools out there. It’s great for organizing data, keeping track of projects and budgets, and even creating simple databases. But did you know that Google Sheets has built-in formulas that can help you do even more?

In this article, we’re going to dive into UMINUS, a little-known formula in Google Sheets that can make your calculations even more powerful. So buckle up, because we’re about to take your spreadsheet game to the next level!

What is UMINUS?

UMINUS is a formula in Google Sheets that allows you to change the sign of a number. What does that mean? It means that if you have a positive number, you can turn it into a negative number, and vice versa.

For example, let’s say you have the number 5 in cell A1. If you apply the UMINUS formula to that cell, like this: =UMINUS(A1), the formula will return -5. Pretty cool, right?

How to Use UMINUS

Using UMINUS is incredibly easy. All you have to do is select the cell you want to apply it to, type in =UMINUS(, and then select the cell or enter the number you want to change the sign of. Close the parentheses, hit enter, and you’re done!

Here’s an example: let’s say you have a cell with the number 10. To change the sign of that number, select an empty cell and type in =UMINUS(10). Hit enter, and the cell will display -10.

You can also use UMINUS with cells that already have formulas. Let’s say you have a cell that is calculating the difference between two numbers, and the result is a positive number. To turn that into a negative number, simply apply the UMINUS formula to the cell, like this: =UMINUS(A1-B1). The formula will now return a negative number.


So why would you want to use UMINUS? Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, it can be useful when you’re working with budgeting or financial data. By turning positive numbers into negatives, you can quickly see how much money you’re spending or how much you’re in debt.

UMINUS can also be helpful when you’re using conditional formatting. Let’s say you want to highlight all the cells that have negative values. You can do this by creating a conditional formatting rule that looks like this:


But what if you want to highlight all the cells that have positive values? You could create another conditional formatting rule, like this:


Or, you could just use UMINUS to turn all the positive values into negatives, and then highlight the cells that have values less than zero. This saves you time and makes your spreadsheet easier to read!

Wrap Up

So there you have it: UMINUS, a powerful and little-known formula in Google Sheets. With UMINUS, you can easily change the sign of a number, making your calculations and conditional formatting even more powerful.

But UMINUS is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google Sheets formulas. There are dozens of other formulas that can help you automate your workflows, calculate complex equations, and analyze your data. So keep exploring, keep learning, and keep making those spreadsheets!

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