Excel Tutorial: How To Create A Formula In Excel With Percentage


Welcome to our Excel tutorial on creating formulas with percentages. Whether you're a student working on a math project or a professional crunching numbers for a business report, understanding how to use percentages in Excel formulas is essential for accurate calculations. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to incorporate percentages into your formulas to ensure precision in your data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding how to use percentages in Excel formulas is essential for accurate calculations in various scenarios.
  • Percentage values can be incorporated into formulas for discounts, taxes, growth rates, and other important calculations.
  • Formatting cells for percentage values and avoiding common errors is crucial for creating accurate percentage formulas.
  • Advanced functions like SUMPRODUCT and AVERAGEIF can be used to calculate percentages in more complex scenarios.
  • Practicing the creation and use of percentage formulas is important for accuracy and efficiency in data analysis.

Understanding percentages in Excel

When working with Excel, understanding how to use percentages is essential for creating accurate and meaningful calculations. Whether you are calculating sales growth, tax rates, or discounts, percentages play a crucial role in Excel formulas.

A. Discuss the fundamental concept of percentages in Excel

  • Percentage format: In Excel, percentages are typically formatted as a percentage with the '%' sign at the end. For example, 10% is displayed as 10%.
  • Decimal equivalent: Under the hood, Excel stores percentages as decimal values. For instance, 10% is stored as 0.10.
  • Percentage change: Excel allows you to easily calculate percentage changes using formulas, such as the percentage increase or decrease from a starting value to an ending value.

B. Explain how percentages are used in formulas to calculate values

Percentages are commonly used in Excel formulas to calculate values based on percentages of other values. This can include calculating percentage increase or decrease, finding the percentage of total sales, or applying a percentage discount to a price.

  • Basic percentage formula: The basic formula for calculating a percentage in Excel is: (Part/Total) * 100, where Part is the portion of the total value and Total is the whole value.
  • Using cell references: Excel allows you to use cell references in percentage formulas, making it easy to update values and perform calculations based on changing data.
  • Applying percentage formatting: After calculating a percentage value, you can apply percentage formatting to the cell to display the result as a percentage.

Basic formula structure in Excel

When it comes to creating formulas in Excel, it's important to understand the basic components and structure.

A. Outline the basic components of an Excel formula
  • Equals sign (=): All Excel formulas start with an equals sign to indicate that the cell contains a formula.
  • Cell references: These are used to refer to the cells that contain the data you want to use in the formula. They are typically represented by the column letter and row number (e.g., A1, B2).
  • Operators: These are symbols used to perform mathematical operations such as addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), and division (/).
  • Functions: Excel has a wide range of built-in functions that can be used in formulas to perform complex calculations.

B. Provide examples of simple formulas using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Addition: =A1+B1
  • Subtraction: =A1-B1
  • Multiplication: =A1*B1
  • Division: =A1/B1


As you can see, understanding the basic components and structure of an Excel formula is essential for creating accurate and efficient formulas. By using cell references, operators, and functions, you can perform a wide range of calculations in Excel with ease.

Using percentages in Excel formulas

Excel is a powerful tool for performing various calculations, including those involving percentages. By incorporating percentages into formulas, you can easily calculate discounts, taxes, growth rates, and more. In this tutorial, we will explore how to utilize percentages in Excel formulas for different types of calculations.

Explain how to incorporate percentages into formulas for various calculations

  • Formatting percentages: Before using percentages in formulas, it's important to format the cells to display the values as percentages. You can do this by selecting the cells, right-clicking, choosing "Format Cells," and then selecting the "Percentage" option.
  • Using the percentage symbol: When entering percentages in formulas, you can either input the actual percentage (e.g., 10%) or use the percentage symbol (e.g., 10%).
  • Converting percentages: If necessary, you can convert percentages to decimal form by dividing the percentage value by 100. For example, 10% would be expressed as 0.1 in decimal form.

Demonstrate examples of formulas using percentages for discounts, taxes, and growth rates

Now, let's look at some practical examples of how to incorporate percentages into Excel formulas for specific calculations.

  • Discount calculation: To calculate the discounted price of an item after applying a percentage discount, you can use the formula: =Original Price * (1 - Discount Percentage)
  • Tax calculation: For calculating the total cost of an item with included tax, you can use the formula: =Original Price * (1 + Tax Percentage)
  • Growth rate calculation: When determining the growth rate of a value over time, you can use the formula: =(New Value - Old Value) / Old Value

By understanding how to incorporate percentages into Excel formulas, you can efficiently perform various calculations involving percentages for your data analysis and financial planning needs.

Tips for creating accurate percentage formulas

When working with percentage formulas in Excel, it's important to ensure that your cells are formatted correctly and to avoid common errors that can lead to inaccurate results. Here are some tips to help you create accurate percentage formulas:

A. Provide tips on formatting cells for percentage values

  • Use the percentage format: Before entering your percentage values, make sure the cells are formatted as percentages. You can do this by selecting the cells and then clicking on the percentage button in the Number group on the Home tab.
  • Adjust decimal places: Depending on your specific requirements, you may need to adjust the number of decimal places displayed for your percentage values. This can be done by using the Increase Decimal or Decrease Decimal buttons in the Number group on the Home tab.

B. Discuss common errors to avoid when using percentages in Excel formulas

  • Avoid multiplying by 100: When using percentage values in formulas, it's important to remember that Excel automatically treats them as decimals. This means that you should not multiply your percentage values by 100 in your formulas.
  • Be mindful of relative and absolute cell references: When referencing cells in your percentage formulas, be aware of whether you need to use relative or absolute references. Using the wrong type of reference can lead to errors in your calculations.
  • Check for correct order of operations: When combining percentages with other mathematical operations in your formulas, double-check the order of operations to ensure that your calculations are accurate.

Advanced techniques for percentage formulas

When it comes to creating percentage formulas in Excel, there are advanced functions that can make the process more efficient and powerful. Two such functions are SUMPRODUCT and AVERAGEIF.

A. Introduce advanced functions like SUMPRODUCT and AVERAGEIF

  • SUMPRODUCT: This function is extremely useful when you need to calculate the sum of products of corresponding ranges or arrays. It can be used to calculate percentages in scenarios where you need to multiply different sets of data and then sum them up.

  • AVERAGEIF: This function allows you to calculate the average of a range based on a specified criteria. It can be used to calculate percentage averages based on specific conditions.

B. Show how to use these functions to calculate percentages in more complex scenarios

Now, let's dive into how you can use these advanced functions to calculate percentages in more complex scenarios. For example, let's say you have a dataset with multiple variables and you want to calculate the percentage of one variable relative to another, or you want to find the average percentage based on specific conditions.

By leveraging the SUMPRODUCT and AVERAGEIF functions, you can easily accomplish these tasks without having to manually manipulate the data.


Using percentage formulas in Excel is essential for accurate and efficient calculations. Whether you are working on sales data, budgeting, or analyzing trends, percentage formulas can help you make sense of the numbers and present them in a meaningful way. I encourage you to practice creating and using percentage formulas in Excel to improve your skills and streamline your work processes.

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