Adding Percentages Using Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding percentages using Excel might seem challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. You simply need to use the right formulas and make sure your cells are formatted correctly to display percentages. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently calculate and add percentages in Excel like a pro.

Step by Step Tutorial on Adding Percentages Using Excel

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. We’re going to learn how to calculate the percentage of a number and then how to add that percentage to another number in Excel. This could be useful in various scenarios, such as calculating tax, discounts, or interest rates.

Step 1: Format your cells to display percentages

Select the cells you’ll be working with and format them as percentages.

This step is essential because if your cells aren’t formatted to display percentages, Excel will treat your numbers as whole numbers instead. To format the cells, right-click on your selected cells, choose ‘Format Cells,’ then select ‘Percentage’ and set the decimal places you desire.

Step 2: Enter the percentage formula

Type in the formula to calculate the percentage of a number. The formula is =A1*B1, where A1 is the cell with the number, and B1 is the cell with the percentage you want to calculate.

Remember that Excel uses a decimal system for percentages, so if you want to calculate 20%, you should type 0.20 in the cell. The formula will multiply the number by the percentage and give you the result as a percentage of the original number.

Step 3: Add the percentage to another number

Use another formula to add the calculated percentage to another number. The formula is =A1+C1, where A1 is the original number, and C1 is the cell with the calculated percentage.

Once you have your percentage calculated, you can simply add it to another number by using the addition formula. Make sure to use the cell references accurately to get the correct result.

Step 4: Verify your results

Double-check your results to ensure the accuracy of your calculations.

It’s always a good idea to go over your calculations. A small mistake in Excel can lead to incorrect figures, especially when working with formulas. Verify your results by manually calculating the percentages and comparing them with what Excel has given you.

After completing the above steps, you will have successfully calculated and added percentages using Excel. This can be useful in many financial or data analysis tasks, and mastering it can save you a lot of time.

Tips on Adding Percentages Using Excel

  • Always format your cells before entering numbers or percentages to avoid confusion.
  • Use the Insert Function feature in Excel to add formulas if you’re unsure how to type them.
  • Keep in mind that Excel treats percentages as decimal numbers (e.g., 20% is 0.20).
  • Use the dollar sign ($) in your cell references to make them absolute if you’re copying formulas across multiple cells.
  • Check your work by doing the math separately to ensure the formulas are working correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I format a cell to display percentages in Excel?

Right-click on the cell, select ‘Format Cells,’ then choose ‘Percentage’ and set the desired number of decimal places.

Can I add multiple percentages to a number in Excel?

Yes, you can add as many percentages as you need by repeating the formula with additional cells.

What is the symbol for multiplication in Excel formulas?

The symbol for multiplication in Excel is the asterisk (*).

Can I use Excel to calculate a percentage decrease?

Yes, you can calculate a percentage decrease by using a similar formula and then subtracting the result from the original number.

Why is Excel showing a decimal instead of a percentage?

This usually happens when the cell is not formatted as a percentage. Make sure to format the cell correctly to display percentages.


  1. Format cells as percentages.
  2. Enter the percentage formula.
  3. Add the calculated percentage to another number.
  4. Double-check your results.


Mastering the skill of adding percentages using Excel can significantly enhance your data management capabilities. Excel is a powerful tool that, when leveraged properly, can execute complex calculations with a few simple steps and formulas. Whether you’re running a small business, managing household finances, or analyzing data for a research project, understanding how to work with percentages in Excel is an invaluable asset.

Remember, the key to success in Excel is accuracy and attention to detail. Take advantage of Excel’s various features, like cell formatting and the Insert Function wizard, to ensure your calculations are precise. And don’t forget to verify your results by cross-checking them with manual calculations or using Excel’s auditing tools.

To further boost your Excel skills, consider exploring additional resources or taking an online course. There’s always more to learn, and with each new trick you pick up, you’ll find yourself working more efficiently and confidently.

So go ahead, give it a try, and start adding percentages in Excel like a true expert. With practice, these steps will become second nature, and you’ll be able to tackle even more complex Excel tasks with ease.

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