Quick, clean, and to the point

Force negative numbers to zero

Excel formula: Force negative numbers to zero
Generic formula 

To force negative numbers to zero without affecting positive numbers, you can use a formula based on the MAX function. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:


This formula takes advantage of the fact that the MAX function works fine with small sets of data — even two values.

Inside MAX, the value in B5 is subtracted from the value in C5. If the result is positive, MAX will return the result as-is, since positive numbers are always greater than zero.

If the result if negative, MAX will return zero.

Replacement for IF

This formula is a clever way to avoid a more complicated IF formula. You can use the MIN and MAX functions to replace IF when you want to return the smaller or greater of two values.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and create dynamic ranges. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot, trace errors, and fix problems. Instant access. See details here.

Download 100+ Important Excel Functions

Get over 100 Excel Functions you should know in one handy PDF.