Loading

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.

Learn more about Allen...

ExcelTips FAQ

Ask an Excel Question

Make a Comment

Free Business Forms

Free Calendars

** Please Note:** This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later),

Joseph has a worksheet that contains a list of values. Some of those values are above zero and others are below. He can use the SUM function to calculate a sum of the values, but he really wants to calculate a sum of the absolute value of each item in the list. So, the sum of the three values -33, 14, -5 would be 52 instead of -24.

There is no intrinsic function you can use to create the desired sum, but you can create a formula to perform the task. One method is to use the SUMIF function, in the following manner:

=SUMIF(A1:A10,">0")-SUMIF(A1:A10,"<0")

The first SUMIF sums all the values that are greater than zero, and the second sums all those less than zero. Thus, with the four values -33, 14, -5, 42, the first SUMIF would result in a sum of 56 (14 + 42) and the second would result in a sum of -38 (-33 + -5). When you subtract the second sum from the first (56 - -38) you get a final answer of 94, which is the sum of all the absolute values.

Another approach is to use the SUMPRODUCT function. The following formula will produce the desired result:

=SUMPRODUCT(ABS(A1:A10))

The function is typically used to multiply different elements of arrays by each other, and then sum those products. Since only one array (A1:A10) is provided, there is no multiplication done, but a sum of the desired absolute values is returned.

You can also get the desired result by using an array formula, a convenient but seldom used feature of Excel. Assuming your values are in the range A1:A10, type this formula:

=SUM(ABS(A1:A10))

Don't press **Enter**; instead press **Ctrl+Shift+Enter**, which signifies this is an array formula. If the formula is entered correctly, you'll see braces around the formula in the Formula bar:

{=SUM(ABS(A1:A50))}

What the formula does is internally create the intermediate column (which is an array of values) which are the individual absolute values of A1:A10. It then sums this array and displays the result.

Finally, if you prefer you could create your own user-defined function (a macro) that will return the sum of the absolute values in a range. The following is a macro that will accomplish this task:

Function SumAbs(Rng As Range) As Double Result = 0 On Error GoTo Done For Each element In Rng Result = Result + Abs(element) Next element Done: SumAbs = Result End Function

You can use the function by entering a simple formula in your worksheet:

=SumAbs(A1:A10)

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2913) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Summing Absolute Values.

*Related Tips:*

**Professional Development Guidance!** Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out *Professional Excel Development* today!

@Sabdjong Tomi,

Please present your data table OR much better would be to upload your Workbook to a File Hosting site and let us have the link to download it.

*** Please explain - exactly - what your are trying to calculate

-----------------------

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

ISRAEL

Please present your data table OR much better would be to upload your Workbook to a File Hosting site and let us have the link to download it.

*** Please explain - exactly - what your are trying to calculate

-----------------------

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

ISRAEL

Dear Allen

is this forula correct to compte the average of absolute value in a range of data?

=+IFERROR((((SUM((ABS((C5-D5)/C5)),ABS((C6-D6)/C6),ABS((C7-D7)/C7),ABS((C8-D8)/C8),ABS((C9-D9)/C9),ABS((C10-D10)/C10),ABS((C11-D11)/C11),ABS((C12-D12)/C12),ABS((C13-D13)/C13),ABS((C14-D14)/C14),ABS((C15-D15)/C15),ABS((C16-D16)/C16),ABS((C17-D17)/C17),ABS((C18-D18)/C18),ABS((C19-D19)/C19),ABS((C20-D20)/C20),ABS((C21-D21)/C21),ABS((C22-D22)/C22),ABS((C23-D23)/C23),ABS((C24-D24)/C24),ABS((C25-D25)/C25),ABS((C26-D26)/C26),ABS((C27-D27)/C27),ABS((C28-D28)/C28),ABS((C29-D29)/C29)))/COUNTIF(D5:D29,"<>"))),0)

is this forula correct to compte the average of absolute value in a range of data?

=+IFERROR((((SUM((ABS((C5-D5)/C5)),ABS((C6-D6)/C6),ABS((C7-D7)/C7),ABS((C8-D8)/C8),ABS((C9-D9)/C9),ABS((C10-D10)/C10),ABS((C11-D11)/C11),ABS((C12-D12)/C12),ABS((C13-D13)/C13),ABS((C14-D14)/C14),ABS((C15-D15)/C15),ABS((C16-D16)/C16),ABS((C17-D17)/C17),ABS((C18-D18)/C18),ABS((C19-D19)/C19),ABS((C20-D20)/C20),ABS((C21-D21)/C21),ABS((C22-D22)/C22),ABS((C23-D23)/C23),ABS((C24-D24)/C24),ABS((C25-D25)/C25),ABS((C26-D26)/C26),ABS((C27-D27)/C27),ABS((C28-D28)/C28),ABS((C29-D29)/C29)))/COUNTIF(D5:D29,"<>"))),0)

That was awesome, thank you!

@ Micky -

Forgive the double email - my coworker was able to get it to work.

Thank you!

Robert

Forgive the double email - my coworker was able to get it to work.

Thank you!

Robert

@ Micky

Thank you for the prompt reply.

I tried to use your formula and I was not able to get it to work.

I tried:

=SUMPRODUCT((I1:I336="W")*ABS(E1:E336))

and got an "#VALUE!" error.

Thank you for the prompt reply.

I tried to use your formula and I was not able to get it to work.

I tried:

=SUMPRODUCT((I1:I336="W")*ABS(E1:E336))

and got an "#VALUE!" error.

@Robert,

If I understood you correctly and assuming you have:

A1:A10 with TickMarks

B1:B10 With Pos. & Neg. values ) in order to sum the absolute values that have a "W" in the adjacent cell - try the following formulas:

=SUMPRODUCT((A1:A10="W")*ABS(B1:B10))

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

ISRAEL

If I understood you correctly and assuming you have:

A1:A10 with TickMarks

B1:B10 With Pos. & Neg. values ) in order to sum the absolute values that have a "W" in the adjacent cell - try the following formulas:

=SUMPRODUCT((A1:A10="W")*ABS(B1:B10))

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

ISRAEL

Is there a way to incorporate the =SUMIF(A1:A10,">0")-SUMIF(A1:A10,"<0") with an additional SUM IF?

Specifically, I have a table of data with both positive and negative values. I'd like to perform a SUM IF, in absolute value, on a portion of the tables' data, indicated by a single column Tickmark?

For example, I'd like to SUM IF "W" in a column)

So I'm thinking of somehow creating a SUM IF = (indicate the "W", add your SUM IF to get absolute value)?

Specifically, I have a table of data with both positive and negative values. I'd like to perform a SUM IF, in absolute value, on a portion of the tables' data, indicated by a single column Tickmark?

For example, I'd like to SUM IF "W" in a column)

So I'm thinking of somehow creating a SUM IF = (indicate the "W", add your SUM IF to get absolute value)?

This was the tip I needed. I was dealing with a negative number in format (35), and the formula handled the number format just fine. Thanks