How to Work Out Percentages in Excel

Written by lisa jackey
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How to Work Out Percentages in Excel
(30 % vert image by Kho from

A percentage is another way of expressing a fraction. Per cent literally means "per 100." So when you calculate a percentage, you divide the given amount of something (numerator) by the total amount (denominator), then multiply by 100.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the Microsoft Excel program and type the numerator (given amount) into cell A1.

  2. 2

    Highlight cell B1.

  3. 3

    In the "fx" box in the toolbar at the top of the screen, type "=A1/X" (without the quotes), replacing X with the denominator (the total amount) . For instance, if you are calculating a percentage score out of 60 points, you would type "=A1/60".

  4. 4

    Hit enter. This should calculate a decimal (eg, .75) in cell B1.

  5. 5

    Hit the "%" button on the formatting toolbar near the top of the screen to convert to a percentage. Alternatively, you can simply multiply by 100.

Tips and warnings

  • You can calculate a series of percentages using the same total amount (denominator) by typing the given amounts (numerators) into column A, then copying cell B1 and pasting into the remaining cells in column B

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