In this article, we are going to cover some easy and effective tricks on how to show **negative numbers **in Excel. We can simply use negative numbers for our calculation in an Excel sheet, but sometimes itâ€™s the usersâ€™ preference to show **negative numbers **in a different way.

Any number which is less than **0 **(zero) is a negative number. Usually, this type of number refers to decreasing or lowering in quantity. So, we use negative numbers to show loss in business or decrease in temperature etc. Negative numbers have a huge usage in practical life.

In the following sections of this article, you will see some different ways to show **negative numbers **in Excel. You can see a preview of how you can show **negative numbers **in an Excel sheet in the following image.

Here, we showed the negative numbers with red font color.

**Table of Contents**hide

## Formatting Negative Numbers

**Negative numbers** are described usually by putting a **negative sign (-) **at the beginning of a number in an Excel workbook. But Excel also allows you to format the negative numbers on the basis of how you wish to show them on your worksheet. While entering negative values on the worksheet, you just have to put the (-) sign at the start.. And then you can change it as per your choice like parenthesis and color.

## How to Show Negative Numbers in Excel: 5 Effective Methods

In the dataset, you will see cash amounts in **USD **regarding some financial statements like **Initial Balance**, **Operating Activities**,** Investing Activities** etc for three months. The dataset contains some negative values as youâ€™ve seen in the introduction. Letâ€™s go through the different methods of showing **negative numbers** differently.

### 1. How to Show Negative Numbers in Excel with Parentheses

There are some built-in formats in Excel to show **negative numbers **differently. One of them is showing them with parentheses.

To show **negative numbers **with parentheses,

- First, select the data range containing negative numbers.
- After that, click on the drop down icon in the
**Numbers**group (Marked as**2**).

- After the
**Format Cells**window appears, select**Number**. - You can see some options for
**Negative Numbers**. Select the one with**parentheses**. Other formats can also be selected as per usersâ€™ preference. - Next, Click
**OK**.

Finally, you can find all the **negative numbers **are in parentheses (highlighted with light blue-gray color). Thus you can show **negative numbers **with parentheses.

**Read More: ****How to Add Negative Numbers in Excel**

### 2. Custom Formatting Negative Numbers to Differentiate from Other Numbers

We can **add brackets to negative numbers** and **make the negative numbers red** by using default formatting options. Moreover, We can also apply **Custom Formatting **to show **negative numbers **differently. Letâ€™s have a look at the procedure below.

** **

Excel offers 8 different color supports for user-defined number types. The names of these colors are: **[Black]**, **[White]**, **[Red]**, **[Green]**, **[Yellow]**, **[Magenta]**, **[Cyan]** and **[Blue]**. Color names need to be enclosed in brackets.

So select **Custom **and copy the code below in the **Type **section.

`$#,##0_);[Magenta]($#,##0)`

After that, click **OK**. You can find other codes to format the negative numbers.

**Note: **The part before the **semicolon** in the code is to format the positive numbers and the other one after the **semicolon **is to format the **negative numbers**.

**Read More: ****How to Count Negative Numbers in Excel**

### 3. How to Show Negative Numbers in Excel with Accounting Format

We can also show **negative numbers **differently using the **Accounting Number format**. This can be done within a moment.

To convert the numbers in the dataset to **Accounting Number Format**, just select the data range with numbers and select this formatting from the **Number **group. You can also find this formatting from the drop down options of the **Number **group.

The **negative numbers **are shown differently by the **Accounting Format** (cells highlighted with light blue-gray color).

**Read More: ****Excel Formula to Return Zero If Negative Value is Found**

### 4. Applying Conditional Formatting on Negative Numbers

**Conditional Formatting **offers a variety of options to format cells in an Excel sheet based on conditions. In this section, we will format **negative numbers **using this feature.

To initiate **Conditional Formatting **feature with a new rule, follow the instructions below.

- Select the data range first.
- Next, select
**Home**>>**Conditional Formatting**>>**New Rule**.

After that the **New Formatting Rule **window will appear. Please follow the video below to understand the process that has been done to format the **negative numbers**.

The following steps were taken to format **negative numbers **with a color and a font style.

- First, select the
**Rule type**â€˜**Format only cells that contain**â€™. - Next,
**Edit the Rule Description**. As we want to format the**negative numbers**, we**Format only cells**that have**values less than zero**. - After clicking on the
**Format**button, set a**Font Style**and**Color**of your choice. You can also format the cells containing**negative numbers**with a**Fill Background**

Finally, the **negative numbers **in the data range will be shown with the **Italic Font Style **and **Red **color.

Hereâ€™s another video showing that if any of the numbers in the range is inserted as **negative**, it will be automatically formatted.

### 5. Using VBA to Change Font Color ofÂ Negative Numbers

Excel **VBA** can also be an effective tool to show **negative numbers **with fancy fonts and color. First, we need to open the **VBA **window. Press **Alt + F11 **to open it.

- When the
**VBA**window opens, select**Insert**>>**Module**to open a**VBA Module**.

- Copy the code below in the
**Module**.

```
Sub ShowNegativeNumbers()
Dim mn_rng As Range
For Each mn_rng In Selection
Â Â Â If mn_rng.Value < 0 Then
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â mn_rng.Font.Color = vbRed
Â Â Â Else
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â mn_rng.Font.Color = vbBlack
Â Â Â End If
Next mn_rng
End Sub
```

The **Macro **returns the **Red **color font for the **negative numbers** from a selected range that contains a set of numbers. Positive numbers and zero will be shown in **Black**. AÂ **VBA If StatementÂ **is used to identify a number whether itâ€™s positive or negative.

- Now, go back to your sheet, select the data range containing numbers (
**C5:E10**) and press**Alt + F8**to open the**Macro** - Select the
**Macro**named**ShowNegativeNumbers**as it is our current**Macro**and**Run**.

After running the **Macro**, you will see the **negative numbers **in the **Red **color font.

You can also assign this **VBA **code to a button to operate this code conveniently. Please follow the video below to see how to assign a code to a button.

The following steps are shown in the video:

- Select
**Insert**from the**Developer** - Next, choose
**Button**from the**Form Controls** - Drag a rectangle somewhere in the Excel sheet and then the
**Assign Macro**window will pop up. - Select the
**Macro**you want to run with this button and click**OK**. In this case, the name of the**Macro**is**ShowNegativeNumbers**.

Now, give a name to this button and follow the video to see the procedure of using this button.

Video: Using Button to Show Negative Numbers with Color

We did the following commands in the video.

- First, select the data range with numbers (
**C5:E10**). - Next, just click on the
**Button**. The name of our button in this case is**Display Negative Numbers**.

Thus, you can easily show the **negative numbers **differently using Excel **VBA**.

## How to Convert Negative Number to Positive in Excel

Sometimes, we may need to ignore negative values to show the magnitude of a number. There are several ways to do that, but we will use **the ABS function **for this task.

To convert these negative numbers, we copied the data table excluding the number values. Then we inserted a formula beside the **Initial balance **mark, pressed **Enter **and dragged the **Fill Handle **icon to **AutoFill **the lower cells.

`=ABS(C5)`

The **ABS **function returns the distance of any number from zero in the number line. Hence, it converts any number both positive and negative to positive.

Thus, you can convert **negative numbers **to positive using the **ABS **function.

## How to Make All Negative Numbers Zero in Excel

It may be required to ignore negative values or portray them as no result in a dataset. So we use a formula to return zero if the number is negative in that case. The function that will help us to do this job is **the MAX function**.

To convert these negative numbers, we copied the data table excluding the number values. Then we inserted a formula beside the **Initial balance **mark, pressed **Enter **and dragged the **Fill Handle **icon to **AutoFill **the lower cells.

`=MAX(0,C5)`

The **MAX **function returns maximum values between multiple values or a set of numbers. Here, we compare **0 **with the other data of the table. As negative numbers are less than **0**, the **MAX **function returns **0 **whenever it finds a negative number.

Thus, you can convert **negative numbers **to zero using the **MAX **function.

## What to Do When Negative Numbers Arenâ€™t Showing with Parentheses in Excel

Excel can show **negative numbers with brackets** but It may occur to some users that the negative numbers cannot be shown with parentheses in Excel. The reason for that is the **(****$1,234.10)** option isnâ€™t available. To solve this problem, follow the steps below.

- Open the
**Control Panel**.

- Choose the
**Change date, time, or number formats**.

- After that, the
**Region**window will pop up, select**Additional settingsâ€¦**from this window.

- From the
**Customize Format**window, select the format**(1.1)**for the**Negative number format**. - Click
**OK**. - Close the Excel file and reopen it.

Hopefully this will solve your problem of **negative numbers **not showing in the Excel file.

## Things to Remember

While working on the methods, make sure you follow some instructions below.

- The numbers should not be in
**Text**. - You cannot type the name of any color while
**Custom Formatting**the**negative numbers**. - Select the data range while applying the
**VBA**.

**Download Practice Workbook**

You can download the practice book from the button below.

## Conclusion

In a nutshell, we can conclude that you will learn some easy and simple tricks to show **negative numbers **in Excel differently so one can identify them. To present **negative numbers **in a different way, we used the **Number Format **feature, **Conditional Formatting**, **VBA**, etc. If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article, please share them in the comment section.

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