Calculating percentage is one of those things that make many people cringe. But if showing a percent in your spreadsheet is beneficial, we’ll show you a few easy ways to calculate a percentage and format it in Google Sheets.

Method One: Divide Part of a Total

You can calculate the percentage for part of a total with a simple formula in Google Sheets.

The syntax for the formula is =(part/total) or part divided by total. You can use cell references or inserted values for the part and total or a combination of the two.

To find the percentage for part in cell A1 of the total in cell B1, you would use the following formula:


Calculate percentage for cells

Here the result is 0.25 or 25 percent.

To find the percentage for a part in cell A1 for the total of 100, you’d use this formula:


Calculate percentage for a cell and value

To find the percentage for the part 25 of the total 100, you would use the following:


Calculate percentage for values

You’ll notice that when Google Sheets provides you with the percentage, it’s formatted as a decimal number by default. But you can change this automatically or manually to percent if you wish.

Automatically Format as Percentage

To format the result as a percentage automatically when you calculate it, you can add a function. The benefit is that not only can you calculate and format the result at the same time but adjust the decimal places as well. To do this, use the TO_PERCENT function.

RELATED: How to Change and Create Custom Number Format in Google Sheets

The syntax for the function is TO_PERCENT(value) where you can use a cell reference or number for the required argument.

Using our first percentage formula above, you can use this formula to convert the result:


The same goes for the other two formulas we used to calculate percentages earlier:


Manually Format as Percentage

To format your formula result as a percentage manually, select the cell containing the decimal and do one of the following:

  • Click the Format as Percent button in the toolbar.
  • Choose Format > Number > Percent from the menu.
  • Click the More Formats button in the toolbar and pick “Percent.”

Format a number as percent

Tip: You can also use the Increase Decimal Places or Decrease Decimal Places button in the toolbar to arrive at a whole number for your percentage.

Method Two: Divide Part of a Total and Multiply

As an alternative to the first method, you can eliminate the decimal result when calculating the percentage by multiplying the division by 100.

RELATED: How to Multiply Numbers in Google Sheets

This syntax is =(part/total)*100 or part divided by total times 100. You can include or remove the parentheses in the formulas below and receive the same results.

Using the first example above, you would use this formula.


Now you receive the result 25 instead of 0.25.

Calculate percentage by multiplying

The same goes for the other formulas:


Calculate percentage by multiplying

Method Three: Calculate Percentage Based on Criteria

While the above options are ideal for simple percentages in Google Sheets, you might need something more robust such as calculating a percentage based on certain conditions. In this case, you can use the PERCENTIF function.

RELATED: How to Calculate Percent Increases in Excel

The syntax for the function is PERCENTIF(range, criteria) where the criteria can be a number, text, or cell reference. The function also formats the result as a percentage automatically.

To find the percentage of bills that are greater than $50 in the cell range B2 through B7, you would use this formula:


PERCENTIF function for greater than

For a text criteria example, you can use this formula to calculate the percentage of our expenses in cells A2 through A7 that are for fuel.


PERCENTIF function for text

Since the function also allows wildcards, let’s look at one more example. Using this formula, you can calculate the percentage of students whose names start with the letter J in the range D2 through D7.


PERCENTIF function with a wildcard

Calculating percentages in Google Sheets might be something you plan to do with your next sheet. So, keep this how-to in mind for a bit of help with those calculations!

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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