If you are working with spreadsheets you will inevitably be adding and subtracting numbers. For display purposes some spreadsheet users like to show everything as a positive numbers and then do the subtraction in the formula.

However, best practice would be to always display negative numbers clearly i.e. with a negative sign/ brackets/ in red so that is it clear. We believe that in the picture below, it is easier to understand (and therefore less error prone) the bottom example.

## Display negative numbers as negatives

Carefully consider the use of negative numbers. Our preference is to clearly show when a number is being subtracted by making it a negative number (red and in brackets).

As a result most of my subtotals are additions. We feel this makes it easier for the end user (who may be looking at it on a piece of paper) to understand what is happening.

Watch the video clip below to understand it better.

*To follow along go to 1.11*