How to Deduct a Percentage in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deducting a percentage in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Simply click on the cell you want to calculate the deduction for, type the formula ‘=A1-(A1*B1)’ where A1 is the original number and B1 is the percentage you want to deduct, and hit enter. Voila! You now have your result with the percentage deducted.

After completing this action, the cell will display the new value after the percentage has been deducted. This is particularly useful for financial calculations, sales data, or any other scenario where you need to quickly figure out a price after a discount or a value after a tax deduction.


Excel is a powerhouse when it comes to number-crunching and data analysis. One of its many useful features is the ability to easily deduct a percentage from a number. This function is invaluable for businesses calculating discounts, individuals working out tax, or students solving math problems. Imagine you’re running a store and you want to offer a 25% discount on all items.

Instead of manually calculating the discounted price for each item, you can quickly and efficiently do this in Excel. This skill is not just for accountants or data analysts; it’s a handy trick for anyone who uses Excel in their personal or professional life. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a total newbie, understanding how to deduct a percentage in Excel will definitely come in handy.

Step by Step Tutorial: Deducting a Percentage in Excel

Let’s dive into how you can subtract a percentage in Excel, step by step.

Step 1: Identify the original number and the percentage to deduct.

This is the foundation for your calculation.

In this step, you’ll need to have two pieces of information ready: the original number from which you want to subtract the percentage, and the percentage itself. For example, if you have a product that costs $100 and you want to apply a 20% discount, $100 is your original number and 20% is the percentage to deduct.

Step 2: Type the formula into the cell.

The formula is ‘=A1-(A1*B1)’.

In Excel, each cell has a unique address, like A1 or B2. To deduct a percentage, you need to use a formula. If your original number is in cell A1 and the percentage you want to deduct is in cell B1, you would click on the cell where you want the result to appear and type in ‘=A1-(A1*B1)’. This tells Excel to take the original number, calculate the value of the percentage, and then subtract that value from the original number.

Step 3: Press Enter to apply the formula.

This executes the calculation.

After typing the formula, hit the Enter key on your keyboard. Excel will automatically perform the calculation and display the new value in the cell, reflecting the deduction of the percentage. If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll see the price or number adjusted by the percentage you specified.

Step 4: Copy the formula to other cells (Optional).

For calculating multiple values.

If you have a list of numbers that you want to apply the same percentage deduction to, you don’t have to repeat the process for each one. Simply copy the cell with the formula and paste it into the cells next to the numbers you want to deduct the percentage from. Excel will adjust the cell references automatically.


EfficiencyUsing Excel to deduct a percentage saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors that can occur with manual calculations.
AccuracyExcel’s built-in functions ensure precise calculations, which is crucial when dealing with financial data.
VersatilityThis method can be applied to various scenarios, from applying discounts to calculating tax deductions.


Learning CurveFor those unfamiliar with Excel, there may be a learning curve to understand how to input formulas correctly.
Formula ErrorsIf the formula is inputted incorrectly, it can lead to inaccurate results, so attention to detail is vital.
OverdependenceRelying too heavily on Excel for calculations can hinder one’s ability to perform mental math or understand the underlying principles.

Additional Information

While the steps mentioned above are quite straightforward, there are a few additional things you should keep in mind. Always ensure that the percentage you’re deducting is formatted correctly in Excel. For example, to deduct 20%, you should input the percentage as 0.2 or 20% in the cell. If you input it as 20, Excel will interpret this as 2000%, leading to incorrect calculations.

Another tip is to use absolute references (by adding $ before the column letter and row number, like $A$1) if you’re copying the formula across multiple cells, and you want to keep one cell reference constant. This comes in handy when you’re deducting the same percentage across different numbers. Remember, Excel is a tool designed to make your life easier, so take advantage of its capabilities to deduct a percentage effortlessly.


  1. Identify the original number and the percentage to deduct.
  2. Type the formula into the cell.
  3. Press Enter to apply the formula.
  4. Copy the formula to other cells (Optional).

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to deduct multiple percentages?

You can extend the formula to accommodate multiple deductions by adding additional terms.

Can I use this method for a series of numbers?

Yes, you can apply the same formula to a range of numbers by copying it across multiple cells.

Is it possible to undo a percentage deduction in Excel?

Yes, you can reverse the calculation by adjusting the formula to add the percentage back to the original number.

Does Excel automatically update the deduction if I change the percentage?

If you’ve referenced the percentage in the formula, Excel will update the deduction when you change the percentage value.

Can I deduct a percentage from a total sum in Excel?

Yes, you can. Just use the cell reference of the total sum in the formula.


Mastering how to deduct a percentage in Excel is a skill that can save you time and prevent errors in your calculations. Whether you’re applying discounts, calculating taxes, or dealing with any number of financial scenarios, Excel is the go-to tool for efficient and accurate number crunching.

Remember, the key to success with Excel lies in understanding its formulas and functions. So, go ahead and give it a try – you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it!

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