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Excel formula: how to add percentage in Excel (4 Easiest Ways)

July 21, 2022

You can compute percentages in Excel in a variety of ways. Excel may be used to determine the % of right answers on a test, discount prices using various percent assumptions, and calculate the percent change between two numbers, for example. In Excel, calculating a percentage is a simple two-step procedure. The percent formula is built in a cell once the cell is formatted to indicate the value is a percent.

Part 1 Add Percentage Through Calculation in Excel (Mostly Used)

Add Percentage

In this section we introduce you to two powerful formulas that reign supreme: the multiplication method and the Addition/Subtraction Method Delve into the core principles that govern these formulas and witness them in action through illustrative examples. These techniques, reminiscent of sale discounts or price increments, serve as fundamental building blocks, breathing life into your spreadsheets.

Step into the realm of Excel wizardry as we unravel two enchanting formulas for adding percentages: the multiplication method and the Addition/Subtraction Method.

Multiplication Method

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch your Excel spreadsheet containing the numbers you want to work with.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: In cells B2 and C2, enter the initial value ($50) and the percentage (20%) respectively.

Prepare Your Data

Step 3. Select a Cell: Choose a cell where you want the result to appear, let's say it's cell D2.

Step 4. Type the Formula: Enter the formula "=B2*(1-C2)" into cell D2.

Step 5. Hit Enter: Press Enter to witness the magic unfold as Excel calculates the result.

Data Result

Example: With an initial price of $50 (B2) and a 20% discount (C2), typing "=50*(1-0.20)" in cell D2 results in $40.

The multiplication method is a breeze to use, and I found it exceptionally handy for calculating discounts. The formula is straightforward, and the result appeared instantly. It's definitely my go-to for quick percentage calculations

Addition/Subtraction Method

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch your Excel spreadsheet.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: In cells B3 and C3, enter the initial cost ($80) and the tax rate (15%) respectively.

Example data


Step 3. Choose a Cell: Pick a cell where you want the result to appear, such as E3.

Step 4. Enter the Formula: Input the formula "=B3+(B3*C3)" into cell E3.

Step 5. Press Enter: Witness the transformation as Excel performs the calculation.

Example result

Example: By adding a 15% tax (C3) to an initial cost of $80 (B3), inputting "=80+(80*0.15)" into cell E3 yields the final cost of $92.

The Addition/Subtraction Method is versatile and great for adding percentages like taxes. It gives precise results and works well for various scenarios. I appreciate its flexibility in handling different types of calculations.

Part 2  Add Percentage Using Paste Special Function

In part two, we explore using this feature to add percentages to your numbers in presentations. We'll guide you through the steps and tips for using Paste Special with Percentage effectively. Join us to master this tool for data analysis and manipulation.

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch Excel and load your worksheet.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: Ensure you have the initial values in a column (e.g., column A) and the corresponding percentages in another column (e.g., column B).

the initial values

Step 3. Calculate Percentages: In an empty column, let's say column C, enter the formula to calculate percentages, like "=A2*B2" for the first row.

Step 4. Copy Percentages: Right-click the calculated percentage cell (e.g., C2) and select "Copy."

Copy Percentages

Step 5. Select Values to Update: Highlight the column where you want to apply the percentages (e.g., column D).

Step 6. Paste Special: Right-click the selected column, choose "Paste Special," and then click on "Values" and "Multiply."

Paste Special

Step 7. Experience the Magic: Marvel as Excel automatically multiplies each value in column D by the corresponding percentage, instantly updating your data.

Paste Special result

Comparing Paste Special's ability to swiftly apply percentages to traditional multiplication and addition methods, the former emerges as a game-changer. It has proven to be a time and effort saver, particularly when handling extensive datasets. Whether fine-tuning prices or calculating growth rates, this approach stands as a robust augmentation to my Excel toolkit.

Part 3 Add a Percentage to a Number Using Excel's Built-in Tools (Basic Method)

In part 3, where we'll teach you a key technique: turning numbers into percentages using Excel's tools. Unlike before, where we added percentages to figures, this time we're flipping the script. Join us to learn how this essential technique works, so you can effortlessly use percentages in your numbers. With this skill, you'll become an expert at manipulating percentages in Excel and enhance your data skills.

Method 1: The Percentage Button (Home Tab)

Embrace an effortless approach by utilizing Excel's intuitive Percentage Button, nestled within the Home tab. With a click, watch as numbers gracefully transform into percentages, an ideal choice for swift conversions and modest datasets.

Here is step by step:

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch Excel and load your spreadsheet.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: Ensure you have the numbers ready in a column, let's say column A.

Step 3. Select Cells: Highlight the cells you want to add percentages to (e.g., cells A2:A5).

Step 4. Percentage Button: Navigate to the "Home" tab, find the "Number Format" group, and click the "%" button.

Percentage Button

Step 5. Instant Transformation: Watch as Excel applies the percentage formatting, converting your numbers into percentages.

Clicking the percentage button is incredibly intuitive. It instantly transforms selected numbers into percentages, saving time and ensuring accuracy. This method is ideal when you're working with smaller datasets.

Method 2: Keyboard Shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + %)

Uncover the power of quick transformation at your fingertips. Through a keyboard shortcut – Ctrl + Shift + % – witness numbers metamorphose into percentages in an instant. A time-efficient option particularly well-suited for larger datasets.

Here is step by step:

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch Excel and load your spreadsheet.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: Have your numbers ready, let's say in column B.

Step 3. Select Cells: Highlight the cells where you want to add percentages (e.g., cells B2:B5).

Step 4. Press the Shortcut: Simply press Ctrl + Shift + % on your keyboard.

Percentage Shortcut

Step 5. Automagic Conversion: Marvel at Excel's magic as it swiftly converts your selected numbers into percentages.

The keyboard shortcut is a time-saving gem. I found it especially handy when working on larger datasets. A quick press, and my numbers were transformed without missing a beat.

Method 3: Decimal Adjustment Buttons

Navigate the waters of precision with the Decimal Adjustment Buttons. Offering you the ability to fine-tune precision, these buttons, located within Excel's Ribbon, empower you to round or increase decimal places with finesse.

Here is step by step:

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch Excel and load your spreadsheet.

Step 2. Prepare Your Data: Ensure you have your numbers ready, perhaps in column C.

Step 3. Select Cells: Highlight the cells where you want precise percentage adjustments (e.g., cells C2:C5).

Step 4. Decimal Buttons: Locate the "Decrease Decimal" (to the left of the "Home" tab) and "Increase Decimal" buttons (to the right) on the Ribbon.

Decimal Buttons

Step 5. Adjust Precision: Click the "Decrease Decimal" button to round your numbers, or the "Increase Decimal" button to increase precision.

The decimal adjustment buttons provide a different approach, allowing for fine-tuning of precision. It's a great choice when you need granular control over your percentages.

Journey through these methods, each a testament to Excel's prowess in percentage manipulation. From swift conversions to nuanced adjustments, these tools are your allies in achieving data perfection.

Part 4 How to Calculate Percentages in Excel?

In part 4, where we dive into a fundamental skill—calculating percentages. In this segment, we'll unravel the mechanics of precise percentage calculations, equipping you with the tools to effortlessly decipher proportions and percentages within your data.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1. Open Excel: Launch Excel and prepare your worksheet.

Step 2. Enter Data: Input the relevant numbers you'll be working with, e.g., sales figures or expenses.

Data for example

Step 3. Determine the Base: Identify the base value for your percentage calculation.

Step 4. Identify the Percentage: Pinpoint the percentage you wish to calculate, such as a discount rate or growth percentage.

Step 5. Formula Application: In an empty cell, use the formula "=part/whole" to calculate the percentage (e.g., =C2/B2 for a growth rate).

Step 6. Custom Format: Format the result cell as a percentage using the "Percentage" format under the "Number Format" menu.

Custom Format

Step 7. Visualize Data: Enhance clarity by representing your percentages using charts or graphs.

Visualize Data

Navigating through the process of percentage calculation in Excel has transformed my data analysis capabilities. The step-by-step approach allows for effortless interpretation and trend identification. This technique is invaluable for both beginners and experienced Excel users.

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FAQs about how to add Percentage in Excel

What If You Only Want to Add Percentages to Some of the Data?

When you wish to add percentages to specific data points, Excel's Countif function comes to your aid. Here's how:

Step 1. Identify Criteria: Define which data points deserve percentage treatment.

Step 2. Countif Column: Create a new column, use the Countif function to check criteria.

Countif Function

Step 3. Apply Percentage: In another column, apply the percentage formula to selected data.

Step 4. Result: Watch as Excel accurately applies percentages to your chosen data.

My Take: Countif function is my go-to for targeted percentage addition, ensuring precision where it's needed.

How Do I Add a Percentage to a Column in Excel?

Adding percentages to an entire column in Excel is a seamless process, enhancing your data's clarity and depth. Here's how:

Step 1. Select the Column: Click on the column letter to highlight it.

Step 2. Format as Percentage: Right-click, choose "Format Cells," navigate to the "Number" tab, and select "Percentage."

Format Cells

Step 3. Enjoy the Transformation: Witness as Excel converts the entire column's values into percentages.

Format Cells table

My Approach: I've found this method invaluable when dealing with extensive datasets. It swiftly brings a new layer of meaning to the data, aiding analysis and decision-making.

How Do I Add 5% to a Price in Excel?

Infusing a 5% increase to a price within Excel is a breeze, offering you instant control over adjustments. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Select a Cell: Choose a blank cell where you want the adjusted price to appear.

Step 2. Input Formula: Enter the formula "=OriginalPrice * 1.05" (assuming "OriginalPrice" represents the cell containing the initial price).

Step 3. Observe the Magic: Witness the magic unfold as Excel instantly calculates the price with a 5% increment.

My Take: This method has been a game-changer for swift price adjustments, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in my calculations.


This guide takes you through diverse techniques for seamlessly integrating percentages into your Excel tasks. From fundamental formulas for calculation to Paste Special functions, built-in tools, and comprehensive percentage calculations, you'll navigate this essential skill effortlessly. Furthermore, discover the power of WPS Office as a budget-friendly, feature-rich, and user-friendly alternative for your office needs, elevating your productivity and data manipulation finesse to new heights.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.