What Does it Do ?
ABS function in Microsoft Excel calculates the value of a number, irrespective of whether it is positive or negative.
Syntax Of ABS Function
=ABS(CellAddress or Number)
The result will be shown as a number, no special formatting is needed.
- The following table was used by a company testing a machine which cuts timber.
- The machine needs to cut timber to an exact length.
- Three pieces of timber were cut and then measured.
- In calculating the difference between the Required Length and the Actual Length it does
- not matter if the wood was cut too long or short, the measurement needs to be expressed as
- an absolute value.
Table 1 shows the original calculations:
- The Difference for Test 3 is shown as negative, which has a knock on effect
- when the Error Percentage is calculated.
- Whether the wood was too long or short, the percentage should still be expressed
- as an absolute value.
Table 2 shows the same data but using the =ABS() function to correct the calculations: