How to Calculate Percent using Excel Formulas

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to calculate

  • Percent Total
  • Percent Change
  • Percent Increase/ Percent Decrease
  • Percent Difference

The first basic formula for calculating the percentage of anything in Excel is

Percent Total Formula

Part/Total = Percentage.

Excel automatically converts the answer to percentage.

Before starting out, you must understand the two ways that percent input and result works in Excel.

Step 1: Type (=) then select the cell that is next to it and then type the column address of the reference cell like that in the image. The $ reference helps excel to decide whether to change the reference when the formula is copied to other cells or not.


Step 2: After typing the address, click on the enter button and you’ll have your answer in decimal form as shown below

Step 3: Click on (%) button in the Number group on the ribbon’s home tab, this would change the decimal to percentage.

Step 4: Place the cursor on the bottom right cell of the first column and drag it down.

There!!! you have the % total of each item on the table.

Calculating Percent Change

Calculating percent change has to do with calculating the increase or decrease between two values. A positive (+) result is a percent increase while a negative result (-) is a percent decrease

The basic formula for calculating percent change is (New value- Initial value)/Initial Value.

(New Value-Old Value)/Old Value

Step 1: Skip the first row since you’ll be calculating the change in the second row against row the first row and put the formula in the second like you see below

Do not fix the address of the cell by using the dollar sign this time around as the address has to change from month to month

The formula looks like this:

Step 2: Click enter and then Click on (%) button in the Number group on the ribbon’s Home tab to change the number to percentage.

Step 3: Place the cursor on the bottom right cell of the first column and drag it down, you have the percentage change in each month

The percent increase is represented by the numbers with a positive sign while

Percent change is represented by the numbers with a negative sign

Calculating Percent Difference

Percentage difference helps one to compare two values of the same type which may not be more valuable than one another.

The formula for calculating percent difference in Excel is;

=ABS(Value 2-Value 1)/(AVERAGE(Value 1 ,Value 2))

We will calculate percent difference following steps in the example below looking at the percentage difference between two brands of phones

Step 1: In cell D9, type in the formula ABS(C6-C4)/((C6+C4)/2) or =ABS(C6-C4)/(AVERAGE(C4,C6))

This helps you to know the absolute difference

Step 2 Click enter Key

Step 3. Convert to percentage

Percent Formulas in Excel are pretty easy to work with. These steps will help you perform whatever percent calculations you want to make In Excel

Gaelim Holland

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