Percentages are commonly used when you’re working with data. But they can often be difficult to manually calculate. Fortunately, spreadsheets do the work for you. Let’s learn how to calculate percentage in Microsoft Excel.
How to Calculate Percentage in Excel
Some percentages are easy to see: 50 is 50% of 100, for example. But 73 is what percentage of 384? As you can see, the math gets tricky. Not so when you use Excel to calculate percentage.
The typical formula for percentage is as follows:
Part/Whole x 100
Excel makes things even simpler. When you use Percent Style cell formatting, you don’t have to perform the step of multiplying by 100. Let’s learn how.
To begin, enter the part value into any cell in your worksheet. For this example, we’ll use 73 in cell E1. Simply type that number in, and then click into a second blank cell like E2.
There, place your total number. In this case, your total is 384. You have your numbers; now it’s time to build the percentage formula.
Click into any blank cell, then type an = sign. This tells Excel that you’re inputting a formula. Now, remember how percentages work. You’re dividing the part by the whole. With this in mind, click on cell E1. Then, type /, which is the division sign in Excel. So far, your formula is:
Finally, click on cell E2. This is your complete formula:
Hit Enter on your keyboard, and Excel will return a value: 0.190104167. Be careful here – that isn’t your actual percentage quite yet. Obviously, 73 is more than 0.19% of 384!
With the cell containing 0.19 selected, go to the Home tab on Excel’s ribbon. Near the middle, click the % button. This is called Percentage Style. Your cell transforms to an easy, rounded percentage: 19%. In essence, Percentage Style applies the step of multiplying by 100.
As you can see, it’s a breeze to calculate percentage in Excel.