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

Calculating a percentage in Excel is easier than you might think. All you need to do is input a simple formula, and Excel will do the rest. Whether you’re calculating a percentage of a total or comparing two numbers, this guide will show you how to get it done quickly and accurately.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Get a Percentage in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Getting a percentage in Excel involves creating a formula that divides one number by another and then multiplies the result by 100 to get the percentage value.

Step 1: Select the Cell for the Percentage

Click on the cell where you want the percentage to appear.
This cell will display the result of your percentage calculation.

Step 2: Enter the Percentage Formula

Type the formula ‘=A1/B1*100’ into the selected cell, replacing ‘A1’ and ‘B1’ with the cell references that contain your numbers.
The formula divides the value in cell A1 by the value in cell B1 and then multiplies the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Step 3: Press Enter

Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to execute the formula.
After pressing enter, the cell will display the percentage value calculated from the numbers in the referenced cells.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully calculated a percentage in Excel. The cell will now display the percentage, and you can adjust the formula or referenced cells as needed for different calculations.

Tips: How to Get a Percentage in Excel

  • Always ensure that your referenced cells contain numerical values for the formula to work correctly.
  • Use absolute references (e.g., ‘$A$1’ instead of ‘A1’) if you want to copy the percentage formula to other cells without changing the cell references.
  • Format the cell as a percentage by right-clicking the cell, selecting ‘Format Cells,’ and then choosing ‘Percentage’ to display the result with a percent symbol.
  • Combine the percentage formula with other Excel functions to perform more complex calculations, such as IF statements or conditional formatting.
  • Remember to double-check your formulas for accuracy to avoid errors in your percentage calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my cells contain text instead of numbers?

Excel won’t be able to calculate a percentage if your cells contain text. Ensure that all referenced cells in your formula contain numerical values.

Can I calculate a percentage of a total in Excel?

Absolutely, use the formula ‘=PART/TOTAL*100’, replacing ‘PART’ with the cell containing the part value and ‘TOTAL’ with the cell containing the total value.

How do I show the percentage result with a percent symbol?

Right-click the cell with the percentage, select ‘Format Cells,’ choose ‘Percentage,’ and specify the number of decimal places you want.

Can I use this method to compare two percentages?

Yes, you can compare two percentages by subtracting one percentage from another and then using the percentage formula to find the difference.

What if I get an error when calculating a percentage?

Check your formula for any typos or incorrect cell references. Also, make sure that the cells you’re referencing contain only numerical values and no text.


  1. Select the cell for the percentage.
  2. Enter the percentage formula.
  3. Press Enter.


Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, calculating percentages in Excel should feel like a walk in the park. Whether you’re working on a school project, analyzing data for work, or simply trying to figure out your expenses, knowing how to get a percentage in Excel is a valuable skill that will make your life easier. With the steps and tips provided, you can breeze through your calculations and impress everyone with your Excel prowess.

Don’t let the fear of formulas hold you back. Excel is designed to be user-friendly, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself exploring more advanced functions and capabilities. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as those pesky numbers transform into meaningful percentages right before your eyes.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use Excel, the more comfortable you’ll become with its features. And if you ever find yourself stuck, there are plenty of resources available online to help you out. Happy calculating, and may your percentages always add up to success!

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