Excel percentage calculation: use these formulas to calculate percentages

Both in our everyday work and in our private lives, we often have to calculate with percentages – the Excel percentage calculation makes this task easier by automatically using basic or advanced formulas that allow you to calculate percentages directly in your spreadsheets. We show you how to use the most important formulas, to calculate in Excel percentages of the total result or percentage changes such as increase or decrease. You will also learn how to calculate proportions and totals using percentages and how to work with increasing and decreasing numbers by percentages.

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Calculating percentages in Excel: Basics

In the following we will give you an overview of the most important methods for the calculation ofPercentages in Excel and show you the most important formulas for the percentage calculation.

Microsoft Excel can help you in your everyday work with many basic and advanced Facilitate calculation processes. Learn more about the SUM function in Excel, if you want to add groups of numbers easily.

The word "percent" is of Latin origin and means "per hundred". Accordingly, you calculate the percentage by dividing the numerator by the denominator and multiplying the result by 100. The basic formula for percentage calculation looks like this:

For example, if you sell a product at a price of 14 euros and its manufacturing cost is 10.50 euros, this cost is 75 percent of the total price. We often use this formula to calculate percentages in everyday life. Calculating percentages with Excel is even easier, though, because the spreadsheet program takes over some steps automatically in the background.

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Calculate percentages in Excel: Formula and formatting

When you calculate percentages in Excel, you save steps like multiplying by 100 – because that automatically does the formatting for you once you apply the percent format (see below for more on that). The Formula for percentage calculation in Excel is therefore as follows:

Let’s have a look at a practical example of the Excel percentage calculation an: A retailer uses a table of products bought and sold for inventory purposes. The number of products the retailer buys is in column B and the number of products he resells is in column C. To calculate percentages in column D of the Excel spreadsheet, enter the following formula there (and then press Enter):

Simple percent formula in Excel.

Through a Double click in the lower right corner of the cell (in this case: D2), you can use the Formula quite simply on the following rows Transfer. Excel also adds the formula automatically as you enter more data in columns B and C.

Add percentage formatting in Excel

However, the result will probably not look so smooth to you at first: Instead of percentages you see in your Excel spreadsheet are initially decimal.

This is how your Excel spreadsheet looks without the percent formatting.

In order for Excel to automatically add the percent sign and round up to the percentage using formatting, you must first set this up: The quick select of the Cell format for setting percentages in Excel is in the "Start" tab in the "Number" options group (between "Alignment" and the "Styles"). Simply click on the percent sign to select the percent format – either for a single cell, a selection of cells, or an entire column. A whole row. In this case, we performed the percent calculation in our Excel spreadsheet in column D by selecting the appropriate cells beforehand:

Click on the percent sign to add percent formatting to your Excel cells.

Alternatively, you can change the percentage format – as shown in the screenshot – with the key combination [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [%] activate.

Customize the Excel percent formatting

If you proceed as described, the percentages in Excel will be given without decimal values according to the basic settings. However, you can easily change the Excel percent formatting by clicking on the small arrow click on the bottom right of the "Number" options. Alternatively, you can right-click on the desired cell after you have selected it. A box will appear in which you can enter "Format cells" select.

To customize the percentages in Excel, you can now use the Determine decimal values to be displayed. If you select z. B. to display two digits after the decimal point, select "2". Then click on "OK".

Enter the decimal places with which percentages should be displayed in Excel.

In the same window, under the "Custom" category, you will also find the alternative option of specifying percentages either without decimal places or with two decimal places.

Also under the custom formats, you can select percentages with and without decimals in Excel.

Formats help you in Excel not only when calculating percentages, but also for many other operations and work steps. Learn in another article for example how to add hours and times in Excel.

Calculate percent of total result in Excel

In the examples we used earlier, we calculated percentages of a total amount. In the case of purchases and sales, the purchases represent the total amount and the sales represent the percentage. However, in Excel we can also more complicated calculations perform to calculate percentages of a total amount or total result.

Calculate percent of total at the end of an Excel spreadsheet

Let’s assume that the retailer from the previous example now wants to know how many items he has purchased in total and what percentage of the total purchase each item type represents. Excel calculates what percentage of the total result any amount makes. First, however, we need to determine the total quantity of all products in cell B11. In the column to the right, we use Excel to calculate the percentage of the total amount that each product represents. For this we enter the following values into cell C2 or select these values with the mouse button:

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