Two wrongs don't make a right - Negative Worker Values Are Turning into Success

Copper Contributor



Contrary to mathematical principles, I am exerpiencing something in the real world that I cannot solve or figure out how to do correctly in Excel.  


Lets start with the quandary:  If a worker is negatively productive for two or more hours and a negative value is placed in two or more colums, those columns produce postive values when multiplied or subtracted, which would indicate to my employer that the worker actually increased there productivity.  Equations in Excel cause those cells appear to appear white in Excel, even though they should appear red.  How do I fix the red cell issue as well as how do I teach Excel that a worker who underperforms his labor is not actually producing success.  Basically, I want to keep two negative work values from achieving a positive number as well as making the red value stay red and not turn white.  


Sorry, I should have prefaced this with the fact that I am a novice at Excel.  I have tinkered with IF equations and Conditional formatting, but I don't know how to acheive my goals, even after asking CHAT GPT and consulting Google.  Thank you.  Please advise.  





7 Replies


You can add two negative numbers. The result will be even more negative.

Thank you. There is that idea-much appreciated. The one issue is that I was trying to create a blanket algorithm for whole sections of the spreadsheet and I never know when I will get a negative. We have two hundred tomato pickers across 4 farms and I never know when A worker will go below standard productivity and I am responsible for supplying the spreadsheets daily. It would be nice to not have to check ever day, every section for double negatives that end up positive and look like success. I have to subtract primary to get to a productivity value on positive numbers, so how do I do addition and subtracting at the same time in the same algorithm. Like I said, I am not an advanced user, but the document is complicated. Thank you for your help. Best, Dana.


We may be able to help you better if you show us some of the layout and of the expected result...

sounds good. Please forgive my novice nature with this tech. How would I show you the layout? I don't see any option to add an image or file. Open full text editor?


If I understand the goal correctly, you could use this formula:

    result, values1 * values2,
    multiplier, IF(values1 < 0, IF(values2 < 0, -1, 1), 1),
    result * multiplier



By jove, I think he's got it! Thank you. I would have never figured out that on my own! I will try when I get back to my home computer. In the meantime, thank you very much.