Skip to Content

How to Divide in Google Sheets (Numbers, Cells, or Columns)

Dividing numbers, cells, or columns in Google Sheets is a common task for many users. 

With its user-friendly interface and helpful functions, Google Sheets has become the top spreadsheet tool to perform basic math operations. 

Even beginners can easily learn how to divide in Google Sheets to analyze data, track expenses, calculate averages, and more.

In today’s guide, we will review multiple methods you can use to divide in Google Sheets, including formulas and operators. 

Whether you need to divide individual numbers, cell values, or entire columns of data, Google Sheets provides simple dividing functionality you can use to get the job done.

Read on as we go over the basics of dividing in Google Sheets. 

How to Divide in Google Sheets

Before we delve into the practical aspects of dividing in Google Sheets, including providing you with visual guides, we would love to provide you with a general overview of how to divide in Google Sheets. 

Here is an overview of the general workflow: 

  1. Select the cell where you want the division result to display. This is where the divided value will appear.
  1. Type the equal sign “=” followed by “DIVIDE” to bring up the division function. Select “DIVIDE” from the dropdown list.
  1. Click or enter the cell reference containing the value you want to divide first. This is the dividend value.
  1. Type a comma to separate the two values.
  1. Click or type the cell reference containing the number you want to divide by. This is the divisor value.
  1. Press Enter on your keyboard to complete the formula. The DIVIDE formula will automatically calculate and display the result of dividing the first value by the second.

If this sounds a bit confusing, don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of how it works when we delve into the hands-on aspect of today’s tutorial. 

Copy Sample Sheet

Want to follow along with today’s tutorial on how to divide in Google Sheets? Copy our sample data below so you can replicate the steps we will show you.

Copy Sheet

Dividing Two Cells in Google Sheets

Now that you understand how to divide in Google Sheets, it’s time to bring you up to speed on the step-by-step process of dividing values in Google Sheets. 

For our first example, we are going to divide two cells in Google Sheets. We will execute this task using the Google Sheets divide function. 

Dividing Numbers in Cells with the DIVIDE Formula

One of the most convenient ways to divide values in Google Sheets is by using the DIVIDE formula. 

The DIVIDE formula allows you to quickly perform division operations between numbers, cell values, ranges, and more.

For example, let’s say you have the number 76 in cell A1 and want to divide it by 4, which is located in cell B1. Rather than manually calculating the division, you can use this formula:

This divides the value in cell A1 (our dividend) by the value in cell B1 (our divisor). 

The formula follows the syntax:

Where the dividend is the initial value you want to be divided, and the divisor is the number you want to divide by. 

The DIVIDE formula performs the division calculation automatically once entered and displays the results.

Let’s go over the step-by-step guide for dividing in Google Sheets using the sample data below alongside the Devide formula. 

Step 1: Choose a Blank Cell 

First things first. You need to choose an area in your spreadsheet where you want the result of the division to be. 

For this particular example, we will go with cell C1. 

Step 2: Type in the Divide Formula

After selecting an area in your spreadsheet where you want the result to be, go to the formula bar and type in the following formula: 

Step 3: Press Enter

With the formula executed exactly as we showed you in Step 2, all you need to do is tap the Enter button on your keyboard. Google Sheets should instantly generate the result in the selected cell. 

Here is what we got: 

Breaking Down the Formula We Used

The previous DIVIDE formula example we walked through may seem straightforward. However, let’s provide some additional context so you fully grasp how it works and can apply it to your own data.

First, understand that the DIVIDE formula has two main components:

  1. The dividend – This is the value being divided, represented in our example formula as A1
  2. The divisor – This is the number we divide by, represented by B1

We used cell references A1 and B1 to make the formula dynamic. However, you can also input actual numeric values instead:

For example: =DIVIDE(74,4)

This divides 74 by 4 without cell references. Both work perfectly fine.

The major benefit of using cell references (A1, B1, etc) is that it links the formula to those cells. So, if the cell values change, the division formula will automatically update with the new numbers. This keeps your formulas dynamic.

Using the Divide Operator (/)

In the previous section, we showed you how to use the Divide formula to divide values in Google Sheets. But guess what? That isn’t the only way you can divide in Google Sheets. 

Besides the Divide formula, you can also use the divide operator (/) to divide values in Google Sheets. 

We will show you how to do that using the sample data we used for the previous example. 

Step 1: Choose an Empty Cell

As we did in the previous example, we need to choose an area in our spreadsheet where we want the result of the division to be. 

For this example, we will choose cell C2. 

Step 2: Enter Cell References Along with the Divide Operator

Having chosen where you want the result to be in your spreadsheet, simply navigate to the formula bar and type in the following:

Step 3: Press Enter

Done executing Step 2 like we showed you? Now, go ahead and tap the Enter button on your keyboard. 

The result of the division should now show up in the cell you selected earlier. 

Here, take a look at ours: 

From the screenshot above, you can see that we got absolutely the same result as the first method we showed you. 

So whether you decide to use the Divide formula or the divide operator, you should get the same result. 

Understanding Order of Precedence When Dividing in Google Sheets

When you start creating formulas using mathematical operators like divide and add, things can get a little tricky. 

The good news is – Google Sheets follows the standard math rules you likely learned in school regarding the order of precedence.

Let’s look at an example:

Since division happens before addition in the order of precedence, Google Sheets will:

  1. First divide 1500 by 25, which equals 60
  2. Then it adds 25, equaling the result 85

No surprises so far. But for longer, complex formulas, things can definitely get confusing.

Here’s a little trick to make sure calculations happen in the order you intend: use parentheses () to group the parts you want to go first.

Check this out:

By putting 25+25 in parentheses, we forced Google Sheets to:

  1. First, add 25+25, equaling 50
  2. Then divide 1500 by 50, giving us the result 30

So remember – parentheses override the default order of precedence.

This ensures formulas occur exactly how you want. Understanding these basics early on will save major headaches later.

Dividing Two Columns of Values in Google Sheets

In the examples we covered earlier, we showed you how to divide two cells in Google Sheets using the Divide formula and the divide operator. 

Now, we want to show you how to divide two columns in Google Sheets. 

While this is a little bit more advanced than the example we reviewed earlier, it is super easy to grasp and we will show you how to go about it in this section. 

To demonstrate how to divide two columns in Google Sheets, we will use the following sample data. 

For this particular example, we are going to use the below formula. 

Let’s get down to business, shall we?

Step 1: Choose an Empty Cell

The first thing we want to do is choose an empty cell in our spreadsheet. This is where we want the divided result to be. 

For this example, we will go with cell D1. 

Step 2: Type in the Formula

Remember the formula we highlighted earlier that we are going to use for this example? Well, it’s time to put it to work. 

What you want to do is navigate to the formula bar and type in the following formula: 

Step 3: Press Enter

After entering the formula as we showed you in Step 2, go ahead and press the Enter button on your keyboard; you should see divided values spreads across column D. 

Here is what ours looks like:

NOTE: The formula we used to divide Column A by Column B is an array formula in Google Sheets. 

This means you only need to enter the formula into cell D1. It will automatically populate the entire column with the division results.

A couple of unique things to know about array formulas:

  • You can’t delete or edit only a part of the array. Since it populates as a whole unit, you have to remove the entire set.
  • To delete the returned array results, simply delete the contents of D1, which contains the base array formula. This will clear the entire column of division outputs.

Remember that the array formula in cell D1 drives outputs for the entire column. So you just need to enter it once to enable automatic row-by-row divisions down the column.

Troubleshooting Formula Errors: Understanding #DIV/0!

While dividing columns in Google Sheets, you may encounter a strange-looking error: #DIV/0!. This confusing message indicates you’ve attempted to divide by zero, which is mathematically undefined. As a result, Google Sheets can’t perform the operation.

Typically #DIV/0! errors occur if:

  • The divisor cell is blank or contains no value. Google Sheets tries dividing by zero by default.
  • The divisor cell has text or a non-numeric entry. Formulas require numeric values.
  • You deleted the intended value to divide by in your formula.

Checking the divisor cell reference is the first step. If it contains no value or data type mismatch, update accordingly. 

This resolves most #DIV/0! errors when dividing columns. 

Cross-checking formula inputs before dragging formulas down full columns prevents unintended results. 

Similarly, overriding divisor cells to numbers also helps fix unexpected #DIV/0! errors in copied formulas.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Divide in Google Sheets

How Do I Divide Two Cells or Columns in Google Sheets?

Dividing two cells or columns in Google Sheets is easy and straightforward. You can either use the DIVIDE formula or the divide operator to divide values between cells. 

When dividing columns, you can use the ArrayFormula we showed you. 

How Do I Avoid #DIV/0! Errors When Dividing in Sheets?

Check that referenced divisor cells contain numeric values, not blanks/text. Also confirm divisor cells were not deleted if copying formulas down columns.

What Does Order of Precedence Mean in Google Sheets Division?

Google Sheets performs division in formulas before addition/subtraction by default. If you need to override this, you can use parentheses (). This tells Google Sheets the operation you want to occur first.

Why Won’t My Divide Formula Update If I Change Cell Values?

Hardcoded values in a formula won’t update. Use cell references when dividing to keep results dynamic when values change over time.

Final Thoughts

Dividing numbers, cells, and full columns in Google Sheets is a snap once you know the fundamentals. 

Whether using the DIVIDE formula or forward slash operator, Google Sheets equips you to divide data in powerful ways.

The key takeaways when performing divisions in Google Sheets include:

  • Leverage the DIVIDE formula or divide operator to divide individual cell values quickly.
  • Reference cells directly in formulas to maintain dynamic, updating results.
  • Divide entire columns of data instantly by copying a formula down rows. In this guide, we achieved that using the ArrayFormula.
  • Use parentheses on complex multi-operation formulas to indicate the order of precedence.
  • Check #DIV/0! errors by confirming numeric divisor cell values

With those core concepts learned through step-by-step examples, dividing values becomes second nature in Google Sheets. 

Dedicate these best practices to memory for smooth sailing through divisions – no matter how complex your data or calculations become.

We hope today’s guide has equipped you with everything you need to know on how to divide in Google Sheets.