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In accounting I sometimes download statements where although the transaction represents debit, the sign is negative.

I then need to change the sign to be positive so it's actually indicating a true debit/withdrawal from the account.

How can I easily do this to a range of numbers in Excel?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Excel lets you apply a multiplication against a range of numbers via the Paste Special function.

To reverse the sign, this is equivalent to a multiplication by -1. Therefore:

  1. Enter -1 into any free field
  2. highlight it and copy
  3. Select the range you want to change the sign of
  4. Right click, point to paste special and choose Paste Special
  5. In the new dialog Paste All and apply Operation Multiplication
  6. OK - all numbers have their sign changed.
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You could also divide by -1 – ub3rst4r Mar 24 '14 at 4:01
Since multiplying by -1 is correct & simple, why on Earth would you want to divide? I think you'll find multiplication faster, too. – Thomas W Mar 24 '14 at 4:10

this is what the formula looks like =(SUM(J120:J202))*-1 replace the cells with yours in your spreadsheet

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