Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Looking for a Sign
The INT and TRUNC functions work exactly the same way for positive
numbers. The only difference is when negative numbers are being changed. Then
INT’s rounding produces a different result than TRUNC’s truncation.
Looking for a Sign
Excel’s SIGN function tells you whether a number is positive or negative. The
SIGN function does not alter the number in any way but instead is used to
find out information about the number.
SIGN does actually return a number, but it isn’t a variation of the number
being tested in the function. SIGN returns only three different numbers:
1 if the number being tested is positive
–1 if the number being tested is negative
0 if the number being tested is 0
Consider these examples:
=SIGN(5) returns 1.
=SIGN(-5) returns –1.
=SIGN(0) returns 0.
Using SIGN in combination with other functions presents sophisticated ways
of working with your information. As an example, you may be tallying up a
day’s receipts from your store. You want to know the total value of sold
merchandise and the total value of returned merchandise. Sales are recorded as
positive amounts, and returns are recorded as negative amounts.
Figure 7-8 shows a worksheet with these facts. Column A shows individual
transaction amounts. Most are sales and are positive. A few returns occurred
during the day, entered as negative amounts.
Just summing the whole transaction list would calculate the net revenue of
the day, but often a business needs better information. Instead, two sums are
calculated: the sum of sales and the sum of returns.
For each value in Column A, there is a value in Column B. The Column B
values are the result of using the SIGN function. For example, cell B3 has this
formula: =SIGN(A3).
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