Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Deriving an Absolute Value.

Deriving an Absolute Value

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 22, 2018)

VBA provides a function to return the absolute value of an expression. For those who might not remember from math class, an absolute value is the positive equivalent of any expression. Thus, if a formula would normally result in a negative value, such as -27, the absolute value of that formula would result in the positive equivalent, or 27.

The syntax for the absolute value function is as follows:

x = Abs(y)

where x is the result and y is a value or an expression that evaluates to a value.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11261) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deriving an Absolute Value.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Excluding Some Data from a Chart

Excel is a whiz at creating charts from your worksheet data. When the program tries to determine what should be included ...

Discover More

Keeping Word Open after Closing Documents

Usually when you are done working on a document, you want to close Word completely and move on to something else. There ...

Discover More

Changing the Footnote Continuation Separator

When you add a really long footnote to a document, it could be that the entire footnote might not fit on the page where ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Writing a Macro from Scratch

Creating macros can help extend what you can do in Word. If you work with macros, you know that creating macros from ...

Discover More

Determining How Many Styles are Available

Got a macro that processes or uses styles? You definitely need to know how many styles Word has available in the ...

Discover More

Toggling Font Assignments in a Macro

If you need to quickly switch a text selection from one typeface to another, one way you can do it is with a macro. This ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.