Understanding Percentage Formulas in Excel


Who among us hasn’t had a “what’s the percentage for this?” moment, only to stare blankly at our Excel spreadsheet? Whether you’ve been through an official Excel Course or you’re an enthusiastic self-learner, today’s post is about to take your percentage game to a whole new level. In this blog, we will give you some Percentage Formulas in Excel with Examples.

What is a Percentage Formula in Excel?

In Excel, a percentage formula is a mathematical expression that is used to determine percentages based on data in particular cells. A common usage for percentages is to compare values in terms of percentages or to depict portions of a larger whole. Excel offers a number of tools and techniques to make these computations simple.

Basic Percentage Calculation

Let’s begin by calculating the most basic percentage in Excel: determining the proportion of one integer to another. Let’s say you wish to find the percentage that a specific number represents in relation to another number. The following formula can be applied:
= (Part / Whole) * 100

It operates as follows:

  1. The number you wish to obtain the percentage for is represented by the term “Part”.
  2. “Whole” stands for the sum of the figure that “Part” is contrasted with.
  3. The “Part” to “Whole” ratio is multiplied by 100 in the formula to get the percentage.

This method can be used, for instance, if you have a sales report and wish to determine the portion of overall sales that a particular product generated.

Calculating Percentage Change

The calculation of the percentage change between two values is another frequent Excel use case. For monitoring changes over time, such as growth or decline, this can be helpful. The following formula can be used to get the percentage change:

= ((New Value – Old Value) / Old Value) * 100

Here’s how it works:

  1. “New Value” represents the updated or current value.
  2. “Old Value” represents the initial or previous value.
  3. The formula calculates the difference between the new and old values, divides it by the old value, and multiplies it by 100 to express the result as a percentage.

This formula can be used for a number of purposes, including measuring revenue growth, analyzing stock price swings, and keeping an eye on changes in website traffic.

Using Excel Functions for Percentage Calculations

Excel offers built-in functions that simplify percentage calculations, making your work more efficient. PERCENTAGE and PERCENTILE are the two main functions used in percentage computations.


The percentage of a number in relation to a total is determined using the PERCENTAGE function. This is the syntax:

= PERCENTAGE(Part, Whole)


  1. “Part” represents the number you want to find the percentage for.
  2. “Whole” represents the total or the number you compare “Part” to.

The PERCENTAGE function, for instance, can be used to determine the proportion of expenses to the overall budget. This function offers a simple method for calculating percentages in Excel.


In contrast, the k-th percentile of a data set can be determined using the PERCENTILE function. It may not seem directly related to percentage computations, but statistical analysis and handling enormous datasets call for the use of this useful tool. The PERCENTILE function syntax is as follows:

= PERCENTILE(Data Range, k)


  1. “Data Range” represents the data values you want to analyze.
  2. “k” is a value between 0 and 1, indicating the desired percentile (e.g., 0.25 for the 25th percentile).

For instance, if you have a dataset of test scores and want to find the 75th percentile score, you can use the PERCENTILE function. Although it doesn’t compute percentages directly, this function is essential for statistical analysis and comprehending the distribution of data.

Formatting Cells for Percentage Display

Cells can be formatted to show percentages without requiring you to carry out difficult Excel calculations. When data is graphically presented without affecting the underlying values, this is very helpful. Simply follow the instructions below to format the cell as a percentage:

  1. To format a cell or a range of cells, first select them.
  2. To format cells in Excel, simply right-click on the cell and select “Format Cells” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the “Number” tab in the “Format Cells” dialogue pane.
  4. Under “Category” on the left, choose “Percentage.”
  5. As required, modify the decimal places and other formatting options.
  6. To apply the format, click “OK”.

Even if the actual numbers don’t change, the values in the selected cells will be shown as percentages. This is a fantastic method for improving the readability and visual attractiveness of your data.


Anyone working with data must be familiar with Excel’s percentage formulas. Excel provides various features and functions to simplify work, including tracking changes over time, performing percentage calculations, and conducting complex statistical research. Understanding these % formulas and methods will enable you to fully utilize Excel for reporting, data analysis, and decision-making. Therefore, don’t be afraid to investigate and put these strategies into practice to improve your Excel skills. Excel’s percentage formula features are useful across various industries, including science, engineering, marketing, and finance.