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How to calculate percentage change in excel

August 1, 2022

The word percent is of Latin origin and means  by a hundred . Put another way, you compare a fraction's numerator to its denominator and multiply the result of a division by 100. The basic formula for calculating a percentage looks like this:(Part/Total)*100=Percentage

Percentages are often at the core of our daily work. My life involves working with percentages. Excel makes this task easier by automatically applying basic or advanced formulas that allow you to calculate percentages directly in your spreadsheets. We’ll show you how to use the most important formulas in Excel to calculate percentages of totals or percentage changes such as growth and decline. You'll also learn how to calculate percentages and values by taking into account percentages and how to increase or decrease numbers by percentage.

Way to Calculate Percentage Change in Excel

Calculate Percentage Change in Excel by using the ABS function. This function takes two arguments and returns the absolute value of the difference between the two values.

What is Calculate Percentage Change in Excel on Mac online.

A common need in Excel and in the workplace when working with formulas is calculating the percentage a difference alters the longer it goes by.

How to calculate percentage change in Excel 2016/2019 online?

The formula for calculating a percentage change is often used in Excel. For example, calculation in excel the Monthly Change and Total Change.

Let's calculate monthly sales.

1. Select cell C3.Type in the Number group to add a Percentage format to the Home tab.

2. Select cell C3, click on the bottom right corner of cell C3 and drop it onto cell C13.

3. Check if everything went alright.

4. We can compute the Total Change in the same way. Now we use cell B2 as the reference and cell D3 to enter the formula shown below.

5. Select cell D3. On the Home tab, in the Number group, apply a Percent format.

Check if everything went alright.

Explanation: when we drag the percent change formula down, the absolute reference  ($B$2) stays the same, while the relative reference (B3) changes to B4, B5, B6, etc.

In conclusion, if you want to calculate percent change in Excel, it is as follows: =A1/A2

Where A1 is the original value and A2 is the new value.

Calculate Percentage Change in Excel can be used to calculate changes over time, or changes between two sets of data. The steps involved are simple, and the results can be easily interpreted. If you need to calculate percentages in Excel, be sure to learn these steps first



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Algirdas Jasaitis


The good thing about the formula mentioned above is that it has many real world examples. You can use it to find the Monthly Change in given values and check how data got different from the previous month. 

Apart from that, you can also use this formula to find the performance of your teams. You can use it to identify the performance of your employee in a previous month and compare it with their performance in the current month. 

This formula is not limited to the operations used by HR managers. Another good thing about using the excel percentage formula mentioned above is that it can be used to find the manufacturing throughput of an industry. 

For example, as a manager of a manufacturing unit, you can find the value of the output produced by your unit. Knowing the production values can make it easier for you to identify how you can boost the performance of your company. 

Here is an example of percentage change formula excel usage so you can use it the right way:

Step 1: Open your desired spreadsheet containing data so you can find the changes in percentages. 

default spreadsheet view

Step 2: To get started with the calculation process, select any two cells that you want to compare to find the percentage age. You can then go to a cell from the next column, Cell C3, in this case, to run your formula. 

cell selection in spreadsheet

Step 3: Once you have selected cell C3, click on the “%” button in the Home tab of excel. 

percentage button in excel

Step 4: Once you have found the value of the percentage change in one cell, you can select that cell and drag it down to apply the formula to all cells of that column. 

column selection option

Step 5: You can also find the total change in all your data by shifting to the next column, which will be Column D in this case. The Cell D3 in our example contains the formula that can find total change. 

Here is the syntax of the formula used in D3: 


total change in spreadsheet

Step 6: You can now click on the cell and drag it on the entire column to get the Total Percentage Change in all values. 

The good thing about this formula is that once you have applied it to a cell, you can apply it to the next cells in your column and automate the calculation process. This functionality will help you avoid extra work, as you will get results instantly. 

Another good thing about this formula is that you can apply it to a large dataset and ensure that you don’t have to find percentages one by one. 


Here are the answers to some of your important questions regarding the percentage change formula in Excel:

Q1. Can I apply percentage change formulas to non-numeric data?

A. The percentage change formula excel explained in this blog cannot help you find percentage changes in non-numeric values. As the formula discussed above can only take numerical values, it is unable to find percentage changes from text data. 

This is why you will need to change the non-numeric data into numeric data first before you can run the percentage operation. 

Q2. Are there any limitations to Excel's built-in percentage change functions?

A. The percentage change formula excel might not be perfect for all circumstances. Here are some examples where the formula is not satisfactory:

Working with Zero Values: The biggest shortcoming of the default percentage formula in excel is that it cannot work with any value that starts from or ends at 0. When working with such values, it is expected from Excel to give wrong results. 

Limited Precision of Results: Working with negative values is a common thing for many users, but such users will not be able to find percentage changes in negative values using this formula. 

Improper Results with Negative Values: In advanced financial or mathematical cases, precision is what matters the most for users. But anyone who uses the percentage formula in excel will find it inadequate to work with as it has a precision of 15 digits. 

Difficult to Use: As mentioned above, the formula for using percentage changes might be a bit difficult to use for users who don’t know about working with spreadsheets and lack experience in handling data. 

Handle Spreadsheets and More with WPS Office

The percentage change formula excel is a powerful tool that can help you find percentages in your data in no time. However, if you work with spreadsheets regularly and want to get things done faster, you should consider using WPS Office. 

The good thing about WPS Office is that it is a lot more powerful for handling spreadsheets compared to Microsoft Excel. This software has a better, user-friendly interface that can help a user run operations on data easily. 

The biggest benefit of WPS Office is that it allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDFs in one platform. You don’t need to pay a single penny to start using WPS Office!

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