﻿ Calculate percentages - Excel

# Calculate percentages

Let's say you want to calculate a sales tax for different states, compute a grade for a test score, or determine a percent change in sales between two fiscal quarters. There are several ways to calculate percentages.

Percentages are calculated by using the following equation:

amount/total = percentage

Where percentage is in decimal format.

## Calculate the amount if you know the total and percentage

For example, if you purchase a computer for \$800 and there is an 8.9% sales tax, how much do you have to pay for the sales tax? In this example, you want to find 8.9% of 800.

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How to copy an example

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

3. Press CTRL+C.

4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

 1 2
 A B Purchase price Sales tax (in decimal form) 800 0.089 Formula Description (Result) =A2*B2 Multiplies 800 by 0.089 to find the amount of sales tax to pay (\$71.20)

Note   To convert a number in percentage format to a decimal, divide it by 100. For example, the sales tax in this example (8.9) divided by 100 is .089.

## Calculate the percentage if you know the total and amount

For example, if you score 42 points correctly out of 50, what is the percentage of correct answers?

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How to copy an example

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

3. Press CTRL+C.

4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

 1 2
 A B Points answered correctly Total points possible 42 50 Formula Description (Result) =A2/B2 Divides 42 by 50 to find the percentage of correct answers (0.84 or 84%)

Note   You can view the number as a percentage. Select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click Percent Style .

## Calculate the total if you know the amount and percentage

For example, the sale price of a shirt is \$15, which is 25% off the original price. What is the original price? In this example, you want to find 75% of which number equals 15.

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How to copy an example

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

3. Press CTRL+C.

4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

 1 2
 A B Sale price 100% minus the discount (in decimal form) 15 0.75 Formula Description (Result) =A2/B2 Divides 15 by 0.75 to find the original price (20)

## Calculate the difference between two numbers as a percentage

For example, your earnings are \$2,342 in November and \$2,500 in December. What is the percentage change in your earnings between these two months? To do this task, use the ABS function and the subtraction (-) and division (/) operators.

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How to copy an example

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

3. Press CTRL+C.

4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

 1 2
 A B November earnings December earnings 2342 2500 Formula Description (Result) =(B2-A2)/ABS(A2) Divides the difference between the second and first numbers by the absolute value of the first number to get the percentage change (0.06746 or 6.75%)

Note   You can view the number as a percentage. Select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click Percent Style .

## Increase or decrease a number by a percentage

For example, you spend an average of \$25 on food each week, and you want to cut your weekly food expenditures by 25%. How much can you spend? Or, if you want to increase your weekly food allowance of \$25 by 25%, what is your new weekly allowance?

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

How to copy an example

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.

2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

3. Press CTRL+C.

4. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

5. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

 1 2
 A B Number Percentage 25 25% Formula Description (Result) =A2*(1-B2) Decreases 25 by 25% (18.75) =A2*(1+B2) Increases 25 by 25% (31.75) =A2*(1+35%) Increases 25 by 35% (33.75)

Note   When you type a number followed by a percent sign (%), the number is interpreted as a hundredth of its value. For example, 5% is interpreted as .05.

Applies To: Excel 2007

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