How to Find Percentage in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calculating percentages in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Essentially, you just need to divide the part by the whole and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage. Easy, right? Let’s dive in and make you a percentage-pro in no time!

Step by Step Tutorial to Find Percentage in Excel Spreadsheets

Before we start crunching numbers, it’s important to know that finding percentages in Excel is a fundamental skill that can be applied in many scenarios, whether you’re analyzing data, preparing financial reports, or just trying to figure out what 15% off that sweater is going to cost you.

Step 1: Identify the ‘Part’ and ‘Whole’ in your data

Start by determining which numbers in your spreadsheet represent the ‘part’ you’re interested in and the ‘whole’ that this part is of.

Understanding the ‘part’ and ‘whole’ is crucial since the percentage represents a portion of the whole. For instance, if you’re calculating what percent 50 is of 200, 50 would be the ‘part,’ and 200 would be the ‘whole.’

Step 2: Enter the formula to calculate the percentage

In a new cell, type in the formula: =part/whole

Excel formulas always begin with an equal sign. Remember to replace ‘part’ and ‘whole’ with the actual cell references that contain your data.

Step 3: Multiply by 100 to convert the decimal to a percentage

After the division, type in “*100” at the end of your formula to convert the decimal into a percentage.

Multiplying by 100 is essentially shifting the decimal point two places to the right, which transforms your decimal into a percentage. So, if your division gave you 0.25, multiplying by 100 will give you 25%.

Step 4: Press Enter to get the result

Once you’ve entered the formula, hit the Enter key to see the percentage appear in the cell.

After pressing Enter, the cell will display the calculated percentage. If it doesn’t look right, double-check your formula for any errors.

By following these steps, you’ve successfully found the percentage in your Excel spreadsheet. It’s a simple process that once mastered, can save you a lot of time and make you a more efficient Excel user.

Tips to Find Percentage in Excel Spreadsheets

  • Always use cell references in your formulas instead of typing in numbers directly. This ensures that if your data changes, your percentages update automatically.
  • To format a number as a percentage without doing any calculation, select the cell and click the “Percent Style” (%) button in the ‘Number’ group on the ‘Home’ tab.
  • If you want to decrease a number by a certain percentage, use the formula =number(1-percentage). For example, to decrease 100 by 15%, you would use =100(1-0.15).
  • To increase a number by a certain percentage, use the formula =number(1+percentage). For example, to increase 100 by 15%, you would use =100(1+0.15).
  • Use the “Format Cells” dialog box (Ctrl+1) for more control over the display of percentages. You can choose the number of decimal places, whether to show the percent sign, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I format a cell to show percentages?

You can format cells to display percentages by selecting the cell, then clicking the “Percent Style” (%) button in the ‘Number’ group on the ‘Home’ tab.

Can I calculate a percentage of a percentage in Excel?

Yes, you can calculate a percentage of a percentage. Just use the same formula: =(part/whole)*100, where ‘part’ is the first percentage and ‘whole’ is the second percentage.

How do I subtract a percentage in Excel?

To subtract a percentage, decrease a number by that percentage using the formula =number(1-percentage). For example, to subtract 10% from 50, use =50(1-0.10).

Can Excel show percentages with more than two decimal places?

Absolutely! You can customize the number of decimal places for a percentage in the “Format Cells” dialog box (Ctrl+1).

What if my percentage calculation results in an error?

If you’re getting an error, double-check your formula for any typos or incorrect cell references. Ensure that you aren’t dividing by zero, which is a common mistake.


  1. Identify the ‘Part’ and ‘Whole’
  2. Enter the formula: =part/whole
  3. Multiply by 100 to convert to a percentage
  4. Press Enter to get the result


Finding percentages in Excel is a skill that, once mastered, can significantly enhance your data analysis capabilities. Whether in a professional setting to dissect financial figures, or at home budgeting for your expenses, knowing how to quickly and accurately find percentages can save you both time and headaches.

Remember, the key is to understand the relationship between the part and the whole and translate that into a simple Excel formula. From there, it’s all about letting Excel do the heavy lifting for you. So, go ahead, give it a try and watch those percentages appear as if by magic. Excel spreadsheets don’t have to be daunting – with a little practice, you’ll be manipulating numbers like a pro!

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