## Introduction

Calculating percentages is a fundamental skill for anyone working with data in Excel. Whether you need to calculate sales growth, track expenses, or measure performance, understanding percentages is essential. Excel offers a wide range of built-in tools for calculating percentages, and this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to using them effectively.

## Step-by-Step Tutorial

Excel has several built-in functions that make it easy to calculate percentages. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to use some of the most common percentage formulas:

### % Increase/Decrease

To calculate the percentage increase or decrease between two numbers, use the following formula:

=((new_value - old_value) / old_value) * 100

For example, if last year’s sales were $100,000 and this year’s sales are $125,000, you would use the following formula:

=((125000-100000)/100000)*100

This will give you a result of 25%, which means that your sales have increased by 25% compared to last year.

### % of Total

If you want to calculate what percentage a particular value is of a total, use the following formula:

=value/total*100

For instance, if you have a total of $500,000 in sales, and you want to find out what percentage of sales came from a specific product line, say “Shoes”, which had sales of $65,000, the formula would be:

=65000/500000*100

You’d get 13% – which means that “Shoes” accounted for 13% of your total sales.

### % Change

The % Change formula in Excel calculates the percentage difference between two numbers. It’s relatively straightforward – you simply divide the difference between the two values by the original value. Use the following formula:

=(new_value - old_value) / ABS(old_value)

For instance, if your expenses were $20,000 last month and $22,000 this month, you’d calculate the difference using this formula:

= (22000-20000) / ABS(20000)

You’d get 10%, which means that your expenses increased by 10% this month compared to last month.

## Practical Example

Let’s take a real-life example to demonstrate how to apply percentage calculations in Excel. Say that you want to calculate the sales tax for an item you’re selling. The sales tax rate is 8%, and the item costs $75. Here’s how you would calculate the sales tax using Excel:

First, you would create a cell for the sales tax rate and enter it as a percentage. To do this, select the cell where you want to display the sales tax rate, and enter 8%.

Next, create a cell for the item cost and enter the value of $75.

Finally, create a cell for the sales tax amount and apply the following formula:

=item_cost*sales_tax_rate

In this example, the formula would be:

=75*8%

This would give you a result of $6, which is the amount of sales tax for the item.

## Infographic

Check out our infographic below to help you visualize the various percentage formulas you can use in Excel:

## Problem-Solving Guide

When working with percentages in Excel, it’s essential to be aware of common problems that can arise. Here are a few tips for avoiding errors and troubleshooting issues:

### Divide by Zero Errors

When using percentage formulas in Excel, you may encounter a “Divide by Zero” error if the denominator in your formula is zero. To avoid this error, you can use an IF statement to check if the denominator is zero. For example:

=IF(B2=0,0,A2/B2)

This formula will return a result of 0 if the denominator is zero.

### Formatting Issues

It’s important to format your cells properly when working with percentages in Excel. To format a cell as a percentage, select the cell and go to the “Number” tab in the Home menu. From there, select the “Percentage” option.

## Video Tutorial

For a more in-depth demonstration of how to use Excel to calculate percentages, check out our video tutorial:

## Explainer Article

To understand the different types of percentage formulas used in Excel, we need to go back to the basics of percentages. A percentage is simply a fraction expressed as a ratio of 100. For example, 50% is the same as 50/100 or 0.5.

Excel offers a variety of percentage formulas to help you make these calculations. The % Increase/Decrease formula is used to calculate the difference between two numbers, expressed as a percentage. The % of Total formula is used to calculate what percentage a particular value is of a total. The % Change formula is used to calculate the percentage difference between two numbers.

These formulas have been developed over time as spreadsheet software has evolved. According to the history, one of the earliest spreadsheet programs, VisiCalc, introduced the concept of percentage calculation in 1979. Since then, percentage calculations have become an essential part of working with data in Excel.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, calculating percentages in Excel is an important skill for anyone working with data. Understanding how to use the built-in percentage formulas in Excel can save you time and help you gain valuable insights from your data. By following the step-by-step tutorial, practical example, infographic, problem-solving guide, and video tutorial in this article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert in Excel percentage calculations.