Column Subtraction for iPad & iPhone

The Column Subtraction app allows you to teach and study the column subtraction method by solving random and custom subtraction problems.

Easy to use

The numbers are aligned automatically so that you can concentrate on solving the operations for each column. Pressing the borrow-button carries out borrowing which is animated step by step so you can see what happens. Borrowing over several columns is also supported.

After you solve the operation for each column the correct answer will fly to the right place. If the user presses the wrong button the answer will appear above the keyboard but it will not move.

Use random problems or input your own numbers

You can let the app pick the problems for you or you can input your own numbers.


  • The number of numbers to subtract can be 2 or 3
  • Each number can have from 1 to 5 digits
  • Problems can be random or custom
  • The current operation for each column can be hidden
  • The operands of the current operation can be highlighted
  • Colors of the interface can be changed
  • The speed of the animations can be set
  • 25 6-piece jigsaw puzzles of animals
  • The jigsaw puzzles can be hidden
  • Custom interfaces for iPad and iPhone

Feedback and requests for new features

Please give feedback about this program.

Review by professor Tim Pelton

Tim Pelton, assistant professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Victoria:

"As a parent I like the potential that this Column Subtraction app has to help my child to master the traditional subtraction algorithm, but I have some caveats and suggestions to add to my recommendation. I urge you (parents/tutors/teachers) to support your children as they use this app and confirm that your child is understanding the process, that they are able to efficiently estimate and check the results and that they are able to visualize an appropriate context for the mathematical expression."

Column Subtraction Videos

Column subtraction with three digit numbers

606 - 240



Column subtraction with five digit numbers

85005 - 70627


Column Subtraction in the Apple VPP Store for Education

The Volume Purchase Program allows participating educational institutions to purchase iDevBooks math apps in volume and distribute them to students. All iDevBooks math apps offer special 50% discount for purchases of 20 apps or more for participating educational institutions.

Column Subtraction in the VPP store