# How to calculate the percentage in Excel spreadsheets Microsoft Excel does not have a predefined percentage function, but a simple formula can calculate it according to the needs of your business. However, Excel can not recognize a percentage formula, which means that you can not automatically format the result as a percentage. Instead of this, the result will be in decimal format. Accurately formatting the cell containing the formula will force the calculation to return a percentage. If you copy this cell later, the formula and format will be applied to the next cell.

Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. For example, you may want to calculate the percentage of total sales of each product you sell. Therefore, the spreadsheet can contain results of the total sales for each of the four products in cells A1 to A4.

Use the formula “= sales_individuals / sales_totals” to calculate the decimal format of the percentage. Use the Sum function of Excel to calculate total sales. Following the example, write “= A1 / SUM (\$ A \$ 1: \$ A \$ 4)” in cell B1. The dollar signs will keep the Sum formula fixed when you copy the formula later. If you wanted to calculate the percentage change instead of the proportion, use the formula “new_result / original_result-1”.

Right click on the cell that contains the percentage formula and select “Format the cells”.

Click on the “Numbers” tab, select “Percentage” from the list of categories and click “OK”. You can also specify the number of decimals that will be displayed by entering a value next to “Number of decimals”. Excel shows two decimals by default.

Click and drag the lower right corner of the cell with the new format to copy the formula and format the highlighted cells. In the example, click on the lower right corner of cell B1 and drag to B4. 