How to calculate a percentage in Excel

How to calculate a percentage in Excel

Microsoft Excel is a tool which allows you to calculate numeric and alphanumeric numbers through a calculation sheet. This data is shown in cells, which are usually distributed in a two-dimensional shape of columns and rows. In Excel, a cell is the base of information in a calculation sheet. You must use the cell to insert values and formulas to make several calculations, but today we want to show you how to calculate a percentage in Excel.

You'll need:
Steps to follow:

Let's set an example to calculate a percentage in Excel: if in an office of 50 people only 20 go up the stairs, what percentage of the people in the office go up the stairs?

To get this percentage on Excel, you must select a cell, for example: D5.


This way, you'll apply a rule of three:

50 -- 100%

20 -- x

That is to say, if 50 people are 100%, what percentage are 20?

To calculate this mathematical operation on Excel and find the percentage, you have to write "=(20/50)*100" (without the commas) on the selected cell.


Press Enter and you'll see how Excel gives you your desired percentage, in our case: 40. This way, we can say that if there are 50 people in the office and 20 use the stairs, 40% of the workers use the stairs instead of the lift.


Another way of calculating a percentage on Excel is using previously introduced values on the calculation sheet. Following the example, we'll write the values the exercise gives us as if we were doing a rule of three.

Select a new empty cell, in this case D5, and write the "equal" symbol: =


Next, you need to select the cells that have numeric values and write the mathematical symbols of the needed operations and finally press Intro or Enter. In this way, the formula will be done with alphanumeric codes in the cells, in our case: "=A3/A2*B2"

You should know these symbols on Excel:

  • + add up
  • - subtract
  • * multiply
  • / divide

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