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How to change negative numbers to positive in Excel?

When you are processing operations in Excel, sometimes, you may need to change the negative numbers to the positive numbers or vice versa. Are there any quick tricks you can apply for changing negative numbers to positive? This article will introduce you the following tricks for converting all negative numbers to positive or vice versa easily.

Change negative to positive numbers with Paste special function;
Good for all Excel starters, but too many steps.

Using VBA code to convert all negative numbers of a range to positive;
Good for Excel advanced users, but too complicated.

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Change negative to positive numbers with Paste special function

You can change the negative numbers to positive numbers with following steps:

1. Enter number -1 in a blank cell, copy it, then select the negative numbers, if the negative cells are not adjacent, select the first negative one, then hold Ctrl key, and select the others.

2. After selecting all of the negative numbers, Right-click to pop out the Right-click menu and click Paste Special… from the menu. See screenshot:

3. And a Paste special dialog box will be displayed, select All option from Paste, select Multiply option from Operation, click OK. See screenshot:

4. The all selected negative numbers will be converted into positive numbers. Delete the number -1 as you need. See screenshot:

Using VBA code to convert all negative numbers of a range to positive

As an Excel professional, also you can run the VBA code to change the negative numbers to positive numbers.

1. Select the range which containing the negative numbers you want to convert into positive, then click Developer > Visual Basic.

2. There will be a new window displayed. Click Insert > Module, then input the following codes in the module:

Sub Positive
Dim Cel As Range
For Each Cel In Selection
If IsNumeric(Cel.Value) Then
Cel.Value = Abs(Cel.Value)
End If
Next Cel
End Sub

3. Then click doc-change-negative-positive-4button to run application, and all negative numbers will be changed to positive numbers. See screenshot:

Quickly and easily change negative numbers to positive with Kutools for Excel

Most of Excel users don’t want to use VBA code, are there any quick tricks for changing the negative numbers into positive? Kutools for excel can help you easily and comfortably to achieve this.

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After installing Kutools for excel, you can change negative numbers to positive numbers quickly.

1.  Select a range include the negative numbers you want to change, and click Kutools > Content > Change Sign of Values.

2. Check Change all negative values to positive under Operation, and Click Ok. See screenshot:

3. You will see all negative numbers change to positive numbers as shown as below:

Note: With this utility, you also can fix trailing negative signs, change all positive numbers to negative, reverse the sign of all values and change all negative values to zero.

Fore more detailed information about Change Sign of Values, please visit Change sign of Values feature.

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Demo: Change negative numbers to positive or vice versa with Kutools for Excel

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Relative articles:

Change positive numbers to negative

Reverse signs of values in cells

Fix trailing negative signs in cells

Change negative number to zero

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Joel · 1 years ago
    I chose a simpler solution, no formulas needed.

    First, to preserve the original data in case I goofed up, I copied the raw CMM measurement data in Worksheet 1 to Worksheet 2.

    Next, In Worksheet 2, I selected the multiple disconnected blocks of cells which had some negative numbers I wanted to convert to positive numbers. Then, I simply used the “replace” function to replace the minus sign with … nothing! It worked perfectly, and was clean; no formulas, no conditional formatting, and the raw unaltered data remained on Worksheet 1 as my backup resource.

    Applying a formula is not always the answer. I love using Excel to do data logging, tracking, analysis, and to answer so many math questions, both at work and personally.

    At work, I measure parts, and the machine measures distances to the left as negative numbers, and not just a positive number distance. Other measurements, though, are at a position of being on a datum X or Y, at zero. Those measurements will be off zero in the positive or negative direction, and I need hose occasional negative numbers to remain negative.

    That meant I had to select a partial column here, another there, and skip ones that measured around a zero target, then apply that “negative sign removal) to only those measurements that were negatives, but did not have zero as the target dimension. It is probably confusing until actually seeing the spreadsheet I was fixing, but the method I chose worked perfectly, and had no formula involved, just a clean minus-sign removal done as a “replace” edit.

    Thank you,

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Zaki Dawood · 1 years ago
    use this formula (A1 is a cell reference in which you want to convert)


    What this formula does is to choose the highest number, and positive will normally be the highest number.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    joe calkee-later · 2 years ago
    Taimoor, Your solution requires adding a column of formulas. The easiest way is to use "find and replace", as I explained here on 4/20/16. Enter a dash in the first line, nothing in the second, and replace as many of them as you want ("find next" or "replace all").

    Not "complexed" at all.

    Your method creates clutter on the spreadsheet with a new column of formulas that requires the first column of negative numbers to remain, although it is now just a sub-component of the formulas column. Then, if you want to clean up the spreadsheet, you would have to hide that first column of negative numbers. Messy. No thank you. You say other people's methods are "complexed", but yours is not, IMHO, much, if any, of an improvement.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Joe Calkee-later · 2 years ago
    "Formulas? We don' need no ... "

    Click on Find and Replace.
    Enter a dash in the "Find What" section.
    Leave the "Replace With" section blank.
    Click "Replace All" and BAM! Negativity" gone.

    If you want to play it safe, and aren't sure about whether or not you will muck up your spreadsheet, copy Sheet 1 to Sheet 2, then perform the Find and Replace action with Sheet 2. If you like it, copy what you want and paste it back into Sheet 1. Safe as can be!
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    Sachin · 2 years ago
    Click on that Negative Number.
    Right Click & go on Format Cell & click on 1234.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      joe calkee-later · 2 years ago
      Sachin, when you go to "Format Cell, and do as you suggested, that does not change the value of the number, it will only change the format, the color. And you left out a couple steps: 1. what tab to click on (number?), and 2. what category in that tab do you choose, then 3. which style option do you select (which still will not change the VALUE of the number, only the appearance (negative numbers showing in red, for example).