Microsoft Excel features numerous built-in functions for the average Excel consultant to use. This Excel help article will discuss just one of the functions of Microsoft Excel which is called the SIGN function. In order for you to learn the usage of this function easily, you will also be provided with a simple procedure on how to use the SIGN function as well as some examples for better understanding of the topic. You should always remember that each function in MS Excel starts with an equal (=) sign unless the function included inside of another function.

Overview of the SIGN Function in Microsoft Excel

The SIGN function in MS Excel returns the sign (-1, 0 or +1) of a given numerical value. If the supplied number is zero, then the function returns a result which is zero (0). If the given number is negative, the function returns a result which is -1. If it is positive, then the function returns the result which is +1. The formula of the Excel’s SIGN function is:

=SIGN (number)

In this formula, the number argument can be any number. You can enter this numerical value in the formula either as a value returned from other functions, a cell reference which contains the numerical value or even the numerical value itself.

But you have to take note that if the argument you have entered in the formula is a non-numeric value, the function will return a result which is #VALUE!

This article will provide you the simplest procedure on how to use the SIGN function so that you would find it very easy to learn its usage.

  • Type in the SIGN function formula in any cell where you want the result to be displayed
  • Then supply the numeric value or the cell reference in the formula
  • Finally, you will simply press the Enter key and that’s it, you can already have the result. It’s very simple, right?

Here are some examples for an easy learning on the usage of the SIGN function in Microsoft Excel:

  • For instance, you have entered a numerical value of 9.5 in cell A1. Then you can type in the formula of the SIGN function in any cell where you want the result to be displayed, in cell B1 for example. Enter this formula, =SIGN (9.5).
  • Here’s another example, -9.5 is contained in cell A2. Enter the formula in any cell like cell B2, the formula is, =SIGN (A2). You will notice that you can also use the cell reference instead of the actual numeric value. The function will return the result which is -1.
  • Then if you use the formula, =SIGN (0) with a zero argument, the function will return the result which is zero (0).

With the use of the SIGN function, it would be easy for you to determine the sign of a given number. You can try those examples that were given above in your own Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet so that you could practice the usage of the SIGN function. Through this Excel help article, you now have the knowledge about the basics of this function as well as its usage, even if you are not the typical Excel consultant.