Excel Tutorial: How To Calculate Percentage Between Two Numbers In Excel


Calculating percentages in Excel is a crucial skill for anyone working with data or finances. Whether you're analyzing sales numbers, budgeting, or simply trying to understand the increase or decrease in a set of numbers, knowing how to calculate percentages in Excel can save you time and provide valuable insights. In this tutorial, we will cover the step-by-step process of calculating percentages between two numbers in Excel, allowing you to master this essential skill for your professional and personal use.

Key Takeaways

  • Calculating percentages in Excel is a crucial skill for working with data or finances.
  • Understanding the basics of percentages and their real-life applications is important when using Excel.
  • Learning and mastering Excel formulas for calculating percentages is essential for professional and personal use.
  • Applying percentage calculation to a data set and formatting the results in Excel is a valuable skill to have.
  • Troubleshooting common issues with percentage calculations in Excel is necessary for accuracy and efficiency.

Understanding the basics of percentages

A. Definition of percentage

A percentage is a way of expressing a number as a fraction of 100. It is often denoted by the symbol "%".

B. Explanation of how percentages are used in real-life scenarios

Percentages are used in real-life scenarios to compare numbers, track changes, and calculate discounts, taxes, and tips.

C. Importance of understanding percentages in Excel

Understanding percentages in Excel is crucial for performing various calculations and analysis, such as financial modeling, sales reporting, and budgeting.

  • Performing basic percentage calculations
  • Using percentage formulas in Excel
  • Visualizing percentage data through charts and graphs

Excel Tutorial: How to Calculate Percentage Between Two Numbers in Excel

In today's tutorial, we will be discussing how to calculate percentages between two numbers in Excel using simple formulas. This is a fundamental skill for anyone working with data and can be applied to a wide range of tasks, from budgeting to analyzing trends.

Introduction to basic percentage formulas in Excel

Before we dive into the specific formulas, it's important to understand some basic concepts related to percentages in Excel. In Excel, percentages are typically represented as decimal values, where 1 equals 100%. This means that to calculate a percentage, you will often need to divide the percentage value by 100.

  • Percentage formula: The basic formula for calculating a percentage in Excel is: = (Part/Total) * 100. This formula can be used to find the percentage of a total value represented by a specific part.
  • Percentage as a fraction: In Excel, percentages can also be expressed as fractions, where 100% is equivalent to the fraction 1/1.

Step-by-step guide on how to use the 'percentage' formula

Now that we understand the basic concepts, let's walk through the steps to use the 'percentage' formula in Excel.

  • Step 1: Begin by entering the value of the part and the total in separate cells in your Excel worksheet.
  • Step 2: Select the cell where you want the percentage to appear and input the following formula: = (Part/Total) * 100
  • Step 3: Press 'Enter', and Excel will calculate the percentage based on the input values.

Explanation of the 'percentage difference' formula

In addition to calculating the percentage of a total value, you may also need to calculate the percentage difference between two numbers. This can be useful for analyzing changes over time or comparing data sets.

  • Percentage difference formula: The formula for calculating the percentage difference in Excel is: = ((New Value - Old Value) / Old Value) * 100. This formula will give you the percentage change between two values.
  • Visualizing percentage difference: To easily visualize the percentage difference, you can use a line chart in Excel to plot the changes over time or between different data sets.

Excel Tutorial: How to Calculate Percentage Between Two Numbers in Excel

Applying percentage calculation to a data set

When working with data in Excel, calculating percentages between two numbers is a common task. Whether you're analyzing financial data, sales figures, or any other type of numerical data, being able to calculate percentage change is essential.

A. Example data set for practice

Let's start with a simple example data set to practice calculating percentage change. Consider a data set with two columns: "Previous Value" and "Current Value."

  • Previous Value: 500
  • Current Value: 700

B. Walkthrough of how to calculate percentage change between two numbers in the data set

To calculate the percentage change between the previous value and the current value, follow these steps:

  1. Subtract the previous value from the current value: 700 - 500 = 200.
  2. Divide the result by the absolute value of the previous value: 200 ÷ 500 = 0.4.
  3. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage change: 0.4 x 100 = 40%.
C. Additional tips for applying percentage calculations to different types of data

When working with different types of data, it's important to consider the context of the data and the specific calculation needed. Here are some additional tips for applying percentage calculations:

  • Percentage of total: To calculate the percentage of a specific value in relation to the total, divide the value by the total and multiply by 100.
  • Year-over-year percentage change: When comparing data from different time periods, calculate the percentage change by subtracting the earlier value from the later value, dividing by the earlier value, and multiplying by 100.
  • Percentage difference: If you need to find the percentage difference between two numbers, calculate the absolute difference between the numbers, divide by the average of the numbers, and multiply by 100.

Formatting and presenting percentage calculations in Excel

When working with percentage calculations in Excel, it’s important to present the data in a clear and organized manner. This not only helps you understand the numbers better but also enables others to easily interpret the information. In this tutorial, we will discuss some tips for presenting percentage calculations, formatting cells to display percentages, and using conditional formatting for visual representation of percentage data.

Tips for presenting percentage calculations in a clear and organized manner

  • Use proper labels: Clearly label the percentage calculations to avoid any confusion. For example, if you’re calculating the percentage increase in sales, label the cell as “Percentage Increase” to make it clear for the reader.
  • Use consistent formatting: Ensure that all percentage calculations are presented in a consistent format throughout the document. This makes it easier to compare different sets of data.
  • Include additional context: Provide additional context or commentary alongside the percentage calculations to help the reader understand the significance of the numbers.

How to format cells to display percentages

Excel provides several options for formatting cells to display percentages. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Select the cell: Click on the cell where you want to display the percentage.
  • Go to the Home tab: Click on the “Home” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on the Percentage button: In the “Number” group, click on the “Percentage” button. This will format the cell to display the number as a percentage.

Using conditional formatting for visual representation of percentage data

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool in Excel that allows you to visually represent data based on certain conditions. Here’s how you can use conditional formatting for percentage data:

  • Select the cells: Select the range of cells containing the percentage data that you want to visually represent.
  • Go to the Home tab: Click on the “Home” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on Conditional Formatting: In the “Styles” group, click on “Conditional Formatting” and choose the type of visual representation you want, such as data bars, color scales, or icon sets.

Troubleshooting common issues with percentage calculations

Calculating percentages in Excel can sometimes lead to errors and issues that need to be addressed. Here are some common problems that users encounter, along with strategies for troubleshooting and resources for further assistance.

A. Common errors when calculating percentages in Excel
  • Dividing by the wrong number: One common mistake is dividing the number to be compared by the wrong total, leading to inaccurate percentage calculations.
  • Formatting issues: Incorrect formatting of cells can result in unexpected calculation results, especially when dealing with percentages.
  • Missing parentheses: For complex formulas involving percentages, omitting parentheses can lead to unexpected outcomes.
  • Using incorrect range references: Selecting the wrong range of cells for percentage calculations can result in errors.

B. Strategies for troubleshooting and resolving percentage calculation issues
  • Double-check formulas: Review the formulas used for calculating percentages to ensure that they are accurate and reference the correct cells.
  • Check cell formatting: Ensure that the cells used for percentage calculations are formatted correctly, either as percentages or general numbers depending on the context.
  • Use parentheses: When dealing with complex formulas involving percentages, use parentheses to clearly define the order of operations and avoid calculation errors.
  • Verify range references: Confirm that the range of cells selected for percentage calculations is accurate and includes the relevant data.

C. Resources for further assistance with Excel percentage calculations
  • Microsoft Excel Help Center: The official Excel Help Center provides comprehensive resources and tutorials for using formulas and functions, including percentage calculations.
  • Online forums and communities: Platforms such as Stack Overflow or Excel User Community forums are great places to seek help from experienced users and experts.
  • Excel tutorial websites: Websites offering Excel tutorials and guides, such as ExcelJet and Chandoo, provide in-depth tutorials on percentage calculations and troubleshooting tips.
  • Consulting with colleagues and peers: Discussing percentage calculation issues with colleagues and peers who are proficient in Excel can provide valuable insights and solutions.


In this tutorial, we covered the steps to calculate percentage between two numbers in Excel. We learned about using the formula =((B-A)/A)*100, formatting cells, and applying the percentage format. Practice and experimentation with percentage calculations are essential to gaining proficiency in Excel. So, I encourage you to continue working with different sets of numbers and scenarios to become more comfortable with percentage calculations.

Mastering percentage calculations in Excel is crucial for anyone working with financial data, sales reports, or any other numerical data. Whether you are a student, a business professional, or someone who regularly deals with numbers, knowing how to calculate percentages in Excel will enhance your analytical skills and boost your productivity.

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