# How to Find Percentage in Excel Spreadsheets

Microsoft Excel doesn't inherently possess a percentage function, but a simple formula can calculate the required figure for your business. However, Excel cannot recognize a percentage formula, which means it cannot automatically format the figure as a percentage. Instead, the resulting figure is in decimal format. Properly formatting the cell that contains the formula will force the calculation to return a percentage. If you later copy this cell, the formula and format will be applied to the new cell.

#### 1

Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. As an example, you might want to calculate what percentage of total sales is contributed by each product you sell. Therefore, the spreadsheet might contain total sales figures for each of four products in cells A1 through A4.

#### 2

Use the formula "=individual_sales/total_sales" to calculate the decimal format of the percentage. Use Excel's Sum function to calculate the total sales. Continuing with the example, enter "=A1/SUM($A$1:$A$4)" in cell B1. The dollar signs will keep the Sum formula from changing when you later copy the formula. If you wanted to calculate a percent change instead of a proportion, use the formula "=new_figure/original_figure-1."

#### 3

Right-click the cell containing the percentage formula and select "Format Cells."

#### 4

Click the "Numbers" tab, select "Percentage" from the Category list and click "OK." You can also specify the number of decimal places to display by entering a value next to "Decimal Places." Excel displays two decimal places by default.

#### 5

Click and drag the bottom-right corner of the newly formatted cell to copy the formula and formatting across the highlighted cells. In the example, click the bottom-right corner of cell B1 and drag down to B4.

References

Writer Bio

C. Taylor embarked on a professional writing career in 2009 and frequently writes about technology, science, business, finance, martial arts and the great outdoors. He writes for both online and offline publications, including the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Samsung, Radio Shack, Motley Fool, Chron, Synonym and more. He received a Master of Science degree in wildlife biology from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences at College of Charleston. He also holds minors in statistics, physics and visual arts.