Excel 2013 has two methods for forcing a value to display as positive, no matter if the value was originally positive or negative. To mathematically change the value of a cell to the positive, use the ABS function, which finds the original value's . To hide the negative sign in a cell without actually adjusting its value, use a custom format instead.

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## Absolute Value

The ABS function returns an absolute value, which is always positive: 5 remains 5, but -5 turns into 5.

## Absolute Value of an Existing Cell

To find the absolute value of another cell without overwriting that cell, use the ABS function in a blank cell. Start the formula with **=ABS(** and then click the cell you want to turn positive. Press **Enter** to finish the formula and see the result.

## Absolute Value in a Formula

The ABS function also works in conjunction with other functions and math operations in a formula. To find the absolute value of an equation, enclose the entire equation in an ABS function. For example, if the formula "=SUM(A1:A4)*B1+14" works out to -10, change the formula to "=ABS(SUM(A1:A4)*B1+14)" to flip the result to 10.

## Cell Formatting

A cell's formatting affects how it looks, but not its stored value. Use a custom format when you want your cell to always display a positive number, but still use a cell's true, negative value in other calculations.

#### Step

Select one or more cells, click **Format** in the Cells section of the Home tab and choose **Format Cells**.

#### Step

Choose **Custom** on the Number tab and enter **#;#;0** in the Type box. Click **OK**.

#### Step

Click a cell to see its true value in the formula bar. Equations that reference the cell always use the true value.