# Using Percentages in Excel 2010

## Calculate the percentage if you know the total and amount

For example, if you score 42 points correctly out of 50, what is the percentage of correct answers?

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
1. Press CTRL+C.
2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A B
Points answered correctly Total points possible
42 50
Formula Description (Result)
=A2/B2 Divides 42 by 50 to find the percentage of correct answers (0.84 or 84%)

Note   You can view the number as a percentage. Select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click Percent Style .

## Calculate the total if you know the amount and percentage

For example, the sale price of a shirt is \$15, which is 25% off the original price. What is the original price? In this example, you want to find 75% of which number equals 15.

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
1. Press CTRL+C.
2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A B
Sale price 100% minus the discount (in decimal form)
15 0.75
Formula Description (Result)
=A2/B2 Divides 15 by 0.75 to find the original price (20)

## Calculate the difference between two numbers as a percentage

For example, your earnings are \$2,342 in November and \$2,500 in December. What is the percentage change in your earnings between these two months? To do this task, use the ABS function and the subtraction (-) and division (/) operators.

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
1. Press CTRL+C.
2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A B
November earnings December earnings
2342 2500
Formula Description (Result)
=(B2-A2)/ABS(A2) Divides the difference between the second and first numbers by the absolute value of the first number to get the percentage change (0.06746 or 6.75%)

Note   You can view the number as a percentage. Select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click Percent Style .

### Function details

The ABS function returns the absolute value of a number. The absolute value of a number is the number without its sign.

## Increase or decrease a number by a percentage

For example, you spend an average of \$25 on food each week, and you want to cut your weekly food expenditures by 25%. How much can you spend? Or, if you want to increase your weekly food allowance of \$25 by 25%, what is your new weekly allowance?

### Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
1. Press CTRL+C.
2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A B
Number Percentage
25 25%
Formula Description (Result)
=A2*(1-B2) Decreases 25 by 25% (18.75)
=A2*(1+B2) Increases 25 by 25% (31.25)
=A2*(1+35%) Increases 25 by 35% (33.75)

Note   When you type a number followed by a percent sign (%), the number is interpreted as a hundredth of its value. For example, 5% is interpreted as .05.