An Easy Guide to Use the Google Sheets Percentage Formula (4 Ways)

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Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

What is a Google Sheets percentage formula, and how does it work? Percentages are found everywhere in our everyday life. However, many people cringe at calculating them, thinking they are too complicated.

That’s where the Google Sheets percentage formula comes in. When working with Google Sheets, I often find myself having to find percentage changes in standard calculations when determining sales data, test marks, and financial data. Therefore, I use the Google Sheets percentage formula because it allows me to analyze and apply data more effectively.

One of the most convenient things about the Google Sheets percentage formula is the three different types and uses of percentage formulas:

  • =(Value/Total Value)*100
  • =TO_PERCENT()
  • =PERCENTIF

Keep reading this guide as I explain percentages and provide examples to help you calculate the percent change for your data using the above formulas.

What Is a Percentage?

A percentage is a relative value indicating a quantity of one hundred parts. One percent represents one out of 100 (one-hundredth part), while 100 percent represents the entirety of the value. These values are denoted with the special sign, the percent (%) symbol.

Percentages are used in many fields, including finance, statistics, and everyday calculations. For example, you and your four friends buy a birthday gift that costs $250. Your group shares the cost of the gift by chipping in.

To calculate the percentage, use this simple formula: (Part/Total)*100 = Percentage or 5/$250*100 = 20%. In other words, you pay 20% of the gift, which equals $50.

Related: How to Get Running Totals in Google Sheets (Easy Formula)

How To Use the Google Sheets Percentage Formula

Google Sheets doesn’t have a built-in function that allows the calculation of percentages. However, there are a few methods I like to use when calculating percentages via the Google Sheets percentage formula:

Basic Google Sheets Percentage Formula

You can use the above formula (the basic mathematical formula) the same way in Google Sheets to determine percentages. Here is the percentage formula in Sheets:

Percentage = (Value / Total) x 100

The Value is the specific result you want to find, representing a proportion of the value out of 100. The Total represents the entire quantity (total number) or sum of all the parts. Using this general formula, I can calculate the values and percentage of the total value.

TO_PERCENT Formula in Google Sheets

Another way to calculate percentages is by using the following Google Sheet percentage formula. Let’s look at its format before I show you the formulas in action. The syntax for the TO PERCENT formula is:

=TO_PERCENT(val)

The formula only requires one criterion to work. The val (value) parameter can represent the cell value or a cell with a numeric value converted to a percentage. While this formula doesn’t find the exact percentages of values, it allows users to quickly transform a numeric value into its corresponding percentage representation, making it a helpful formula to have in your arsenal.

PERCENTIF Formula Google Sheets

The PERCENTIF formula can be used to find the percentage of cells from a selected range that fulfills a specified condition. Here is the syntax for this percentage function in Google Sheets:

=PERCENTIF(range, criteria)

The formula requires two parameters to work:

  • range: This parameter defines the range or new value you want to check.
  • criteria: This parameter defines the test or pattern you want to check the range against.

Looking for a quick way to calculate percentages via the Google Sheets percentage formula? You’ve come to the right place! Hit “Play” and watch my short 2-minute video below!

Related: How to Subtract in Google Sheets (Easy Guide)

How To Find Percentages in Google Sheets

Now that I have shown you the formulas you can use to find percentages in Google Sheets let’s look at how these formulas work in action.

How To Use the Google Sheets Percentage Button

The Google Sheets percentage button is one of the simplest ways to calculate percentages. The percentage button (%) is next to the dollar sign ($) in the user menu toolbar.

Google Sheets tools bar with percentage button.

If you have a fractional number like 0.15, you can format it into a percentage by automatically converting it into 15%.

A fractional number (0.15)

You only need to select the decimal points (0.15) cell and click the percentage (%) button. Here’s what it looks like on your toolbar.

The percentage button will automatically convert decimals to percentages.

And that’s it! Easy, right?

How To Get a Percentage in Google Sheets Using Basic Formula

This method to calculate percentages in Google Sheets is the most basic and doesn’t require using any built-in functions. Here is how to calculate percentages in Google Sheets using the text box:

Google Sheets percentage formula—basic formula example
  1. Open the Google Sheets application and the sheet with your data.
  2. Click on the cell where you want to enter the formula.
  3. Start the formula by writing an Equals (=) sign.
    • Then, add an Opening Bracket “ ( ”.
  4. Write the Value number or add a reference to the cell containing that parameter.
    • In this example, I will reference cell B2, which contains the student’s marks.
  5. Add a Division Slash ( / ) and then add the Total value or its cell reference.
  6. Now, put a Closing Bracket “ ) ”
  7. To convert the fractional number into a percentage, multiply it by 100.
    • Simply add *100.
  8. Press the “Enter” key to execute the formula.

This method doesn’t automatically add a Percent (%) symbol beside the values. Therefore, you must add this manually.

Follow the steps below to do this:

How to add the percent value in Google Sheets
  1. Select the cells with the values where you want to add the percent symbol.
  2. Press the “Format” button in the main toolbar to open a drop-down menu.
  3. Click on “Number” > “Percent.”
    • Alternatively, click the toolbar’s “Format as percent” icon.

How To Calculate Percentages in Google Sheets Using TO_PERCENT

Another great way to calculate percentages in Google Sheets is using the TO_PERCENT formula. I like this method because it can conveniently convert decimals or fractions into a percentage format.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do this:

How to calculate percentages in Google Sheets using the TO_PERCENT formula.
  1. Open Google Sheets and your sheet with the data you want to convert into percentages.
  2. Click on the cell where you want to enter the formula
    • Write the initial part of the formula, which is =TO_PERCENT(.
  3. Add the val parameter.
    • This can be a cell range, reference, value, or math function.
    • In this example, I want to determine the percentage. Therefore, I will write the parameter as B2/$B$9.
  4. Finally, add a Closing Bracket “ ) ” and press “Enter” to execute the formula.

I like to use the TO_PERCENT formula because it converts a number into a percentage, and I can directly reference two cell values and convert them into percentages. A nice thing about this function is that it automatically adds the Percent (%) symbol to the value, making it easier to view your data.

How To Find a Percentage of a Range Using PERCENTIF

The PERCENTIF function is an excellent tool for determining the percentage of values with specific criteria in my spreadsheet.

For example, I have the test results or data from five students who completed an exam. I want to determine what percentage of students scored less than 100 marks out of 200. Therefore, I would use the PERCENTIF in Google Sheets formula below:

PERCENTIF in Google Sheets formula example
  1. Open the Google Sheets app along with the sheet and relevant data.
    • Click on the cell where you want to enter the formula.
  2. Enter the initial part of the formula, which is =PERCENTIF(.
  3. Enter the range parameter.
    • This example shows the column with the student’s test results.
    • Write B2:B6 as the first parameter.
  4. Add a Comma ( , ) to separate the parameters.
  5. Write the second parameter, which is the Criteria.
    • Make sure to add this parameter between Quotation Marks ( “” ).
    • For this example, I want to find the percentage of the students who scored less than 100 marks. Therefore, I will write it as “<100”.
  6. Finally, add a Closing Bracket “ ) ” and press “Enter.”

Related: How To Calculate Weighted Average In Google Sheets (Weighted Average Formula)

Conclusion

In this tutorial, I have discussed three methods of using the Google Sheets percentage formula. While these examples use different formulas, they cannot fully represent the countless uses of this function. However, it gives you a basic idea of how the formula works and its multiple uses in calculating percentage increases or decreases.

I hope that you have found this article helpful and that you can maximize the tips. I guarantee this will make your time with Google Sheets much more productive!

If you want to upskill your Google Sheets knowledge and improve your workflow productivity even more, check out this Google Sheets masterclass, which covers advanced functions like QUERY, IMPORTHTML, IMPORTXML, and more!

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