IMSUB Function

Basic Description

The Excel IMSUB function calculates the difference between two complex numbers (ie. subtracts one complex number from another).

Syntax: IMSUB( inumber1, inumber2 )

where the inumber arguments are both Complex Numbers, and you want to subtract inumber2 from inumber1.

Note that complex numbers are simply stored as text in Excel. When a text string in the format “a+bi” or “a+bj” is supplied to one of Excel’s built-in complex number functions, this is interpreted as a complex number. Also the complex number functions can accept a simple numeric value, as this is equivalent to a complex number whose imaginary coefficient is equal to 0. Therefore, the inumber arguments can be supplied to the Excel Imsub function as either:

A simple number
A complex number encased in quotation marks – eg. “5+3i”
A reference to a cell containing a complex number or a numeric value
A value returned from another Excel function or formula

These are all included in the examples below.


Imsub Function Examples

In the example below, the Excel Imsub function is used find the difference between different pairs of complex numbers. The format of the functions is shown in the spreadsheet on the left and the results are shown in the spreadsheet on the right.

1 5+i =IMSUB( A1, A2 )
2 1+4i =IMSUB( “9+2i”, 6 )
3 =IMSUB( COMPLEX( 5, 2 ), COMPLEX( 0, 1 ) )
1 5+i 4-3i
2 1+4i 3+2i
3 5+i



Imsub Function Errors

If you get an error from your Excel Imsub function this is likely to be one of the following :

#NUM! Occurs if the supplied inumber argument is not recognised as a complex number
#NAME? Occurs when Analysis ToolPak add-in is not enabled in your Excel.

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