# Google Sheets Percentage Formula (Calculate Percentages with Examples)

Numbers often fail to tell the full story, but percentages, on the other hand, have an uncanny ability to illuminate the hidden truths lurking within data. They are the secret weapon for rendering proportions tangible and facilitating effortless comparisons.

Consider this: sales tax, discounts, interest rates—all of these everyday quantities we encounter are primarily expressed in percentages.

Today, we’ll embark on a journey through the remarkable landscape of the Google Sheets Percentage Formula and its many applications.

Buckle up, because we are about to uncover the power of percentages in Google Sheets.

Whether you’re a spreadsheet novice or a seasoned data aficionado, this guide will empower you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the world of percentages and calculations with finesse.

Before we start using the Google Sheets percentage formula in real situations, let’s first explore a scenario where you might need to use this formula.

## Scenario/Use Case

Imagine you’re a small business owner, Mary, who’s just launched a trendy online store selling handcrafted jewelry. Your sales are picking up, and you’re planning to offer a special discount to your loyal customers to boost sales even further. This is where the power of Google Sheets Percentage Formula comes into play.

Without this formula, calculating discounts could be a tedious and error-prone task. You’d need to manually compute the discount amount for each product, verify the totals, and update your pricing.

But with Google Sheets Percentage Formula at your disposal, you can effortlessly apply a 20% discount across your entire inventory. It’s a game-changer, saving you time and ensuring accuracy.

Now that you know when to use the Google Sheets percentage formula, let’s take a moment to understand what a percentage actually is.

## What is A Percentage?

The word “percent” or “percentage” means a part out of 100. It’s a fundamental concept we use in everyday life.

That’s why we are explaining it here. We use percentages to figure out things like tips at restaurants or to understand how interest affects our mortgages over time. It’s a simple idea – we don’t express a ratio as a fraction of some random number; instead, we use a base of 100. That’s what percentages are built on.

You can also use percentages to describe a portion of a data set. we show you how to do that in a moment.

## Copy Sample Sheet

If you’re looking for a hands-on experience, simply copy our sample sheets to follow along effortlessly.

Already have your sheet? No problem. You can easily replicate the steps we’ll outline in your workspace.

## How to Use Google Sheets Percentage Formula to Calculate Discount: The Step-By-Step Guide

Having understood the basics of percentages, it’s time to jump into the practical aspect of this guide.

In this section, we will show you how to use the Google Sheets percentage formula to calculate discount prices.

We will use the following sample data for this example.

Objective: We aim to use the Google Sheets percentage formula to calculate and apply a 20% discount to a selection of jewelry items in Mary’s online store.

Read on as we go over the steps together.

Step 1: Select A Blank Cell

To use the Google Sheets percentage formula to calculate and apply a 20% discount to our sample data, we first need to select an empty cell where we want the result to be generated. For this particular example, we will go ahead and select cell C5.

Step 2: Enter The Percentage Formula

After choosing the cell where you want the discounted price to be generated, it’s time to apply our percentage formula. To do that, navigate to the formula bar and type in the following formula:

``=B2 * (1 - 0.20)``

Here is a breakdown of the formula:

• B5: This represents the cell reference to the original price of the jewelry item. In this case, it’s referring to the original price of the jewelry item stored in cell B5.
• 0.20: This is the discount percentage expressed as a decimal. In the formula, it’s 0.20, which corresponds to a 20% discount. If the original price is \$50.00, applying a 20% discount means we’re subtracting 20% of the original price.
• (1 – 0.20): This part of the formula calculates the discount factor. By subtracting the discount percentage (0.20) from 1, we determine how much of the original price remains after the discount is applied.

This formula simplifies the process of applying discounts, ensuring that the discounted prices are accurately calculated and updated for all items in the inventory. It’s a powerful tool for businesses like Mary’s online store, where discounts can attract customers and boost sales.

Step 3: Apply Formula

After entering the formula like we showed you, all you need to do is hit the Enter button on your keyboard. Google Sheets will automatically generate the discounted price in the selected cell.

Here is what ours looks like:

Now, that’s how to use the Google Sheets percentage formula to calculate discounts in Google Sheets.

While this example is easy and straightforward, we are just scratching the surface of what you can do with the Google Sheets percentage formula.

In the subsequent examples, we will look at more practical applications of the Google Sheets percentage formula.

## How to Calculate the Percentage of A Portion

In our previous example, we demonstrated the incredible efficiency of the Google Sheets Percentage Formula in calculating discounted prices for Mary’s online jewelry store. Now, we’re ready to switch gears and explore a different facet of percentage calculations. Instead of applying discounts, we’ll delve into the realm of calculating the percentage of a proportion.

For this exercise, we will work with a fresh set of sample data. Remember, we’re not dealing with discounts this time; we’re focusing on percentages related to a portion of a whole.

Here is what our sample data looks like:

Objective: Our objective in this example is to utilize Google Sheets to calculate the percentage increase or decrease in sales for different sales reps.

By doing so, we aim to provide a practical demonstration of how to determine the proportion of a specific dataset. This skill is invaluable for inventory management and data analysis.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Before diving into the calculations, make sure you have your data ready. In our case, we will use the above sample data. Ensure you identify the specific item you want to calculate the percentage for.

Step 2: Select A Blank Cell

Now that we have our sample data ready, let’s dive into the hands-on part. First, you need to select the cell where you want the percentage result generated.

For our example, we will use cell D4.

Step 3: Enter The Percentage formula

Having determined where you want the result generated, navigate to the formula bar and type in the following formula.

``=B4/C4``

Here is a breakdown of the formula:

• B4 represents the “Sales in April” for a particular sales representative, and C4 represents the “Sales in July.”
• To calculate the percentage increase or decrease, we perform a simple division. We divide the “Sales in April” (B4) by the “Sales in July” (C4).
• The result of this division will be a decimal number, typically less than 1.0.

Step 3: Hit Enter

Once you’ve typed in the formula, as explained in the previous step, simply hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. Google Sheets will then calculate the percentage increase or decrease and show it in your selected cell.

Let’s see how our spreadsheet appears after we have completed this step.

Step 4: Format for Percentage

Looking closely at the result in cell D4, you’ll notice it is in decimal format. And since we want the percentage increase or decrease, we need to format the result for percentages. To do that, navigate to the toolbar section of your Google Sheets and click the percentage button (%).

If you did exactly as we showed you, your result should be instantly updated. Here, take a look at what ours looks like.

Step 5: Generate Percentage Results for Other Sales Reps

Looking at our sample sheet, you can see that we’ve successfully calculated the percentage result for the first sales representative, “Emily Bradly.” Now, let’s extend this calculation to the other sales representatives. However, we won’t repeat the entire process from scratch. Instead, we’ll leverage the Google Sheets auto-fill option. Here is how to do it.

• Click on the cell where you’ve already calculated the percentage for Emily Brady. Place your cursor at the bottom right corner of that cell. You’ll notice that the cursor changes to a small square.
• Click and drag the small square down to the cells corresponding to the other sales representatives, such as Philip Swan, Lawrence Samuel, Suzan Blake, and Nicole Markson.

Google Sheets will automatically copy the formula and adapt it for each sales representative. As a result, you’ll have the percentage increase or decrease calculated for all the sales reps without manually inputting the formula for each one.

The video below provides better insight into what we are talking about.

By following these steps, you can effectively calculate the percentage of a proportion in Google Sheets, helping you gain a deeper understanding of your data and allowing you to make informed decisions based on these proportions.

### Calculating the Percentage of Total

In our journey through percentage calculations, we’ve explored valuable methods such as using the Google Sheets percentage formula to calculate discount prices and calculating the percentage increase or decrease for specific data sets. But there’s more to discover, and one crucial concept for beginners is “How to Calculate the Percentage of Total.”

This method is particularly useful when you need to understand the proportion of a specific element within a larger dataset. Whether you’re monitoring product sales within a category, analyzing the distribution of expenses, or examining the demographics of a population, the percentage of the total is an indispensable tool for beginners and experts alike.

In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of calculating the percentage of a specific element within the total.

Here is the sample data we will use for this example:

Objective: Our objective in this example is to demonstrate the simple yet crucial concept of calculating the “Percentage of Total.” By the end of this section, beginners will have gained the understanding and skills necessary to determine the proportion of a specific element within a larger dataset.

Step 1: Calculate Total Sales

First things first, let’s calculate the total sales. To achieve that, we will use the SUM function. What we want to do is click on cell B11, which is where the result of our total sales will be calculated.

Having done that, navigate to the formula bar and type in the following formula:

``=SUM(B5:B9)``

Step 2: Hit Enter

Once you’ve typed in the formula just like we did in the previous step, there’s only one thing left to do – press the “Enter” button on your keyboard.

When you hit “Enter,” the magic happens. The result, showing the total sales made, will pop up right there in the cell you selected. It’s like the answer to a math problem appearing on your screen. So, it should look something like this:

Step 3: Calculate Percentage of Total Sales

Now that we’ve figured out the total sales made, let’s dive into the next step: finding out how much of these sales each sales representative is responsible for. It’s a bit like dividing the cake into pieces.

To do this, we’ll start by selecting cell C4. This is where we’ll see the results of our calculations.

Once you’ve got cell C4 selected, you don’t need to be a math wizard. Just head up to the formula bar (that’s the place where you can type in your formulas) and type in the following:

``=B5 / \$B\$11``

Step 4: Hit Enter

With your formula correctly entered as we described, proceed to hit the Enter button on your keyboard. Google Sheets should generate the result in the selected cell.

It should look like this:

Step 5: Format Result

As you can see from the above screenshot, the result of the calculation is in a decimal. We need to fix that.

To convert your formula’s result into a percentage and show it with a ‘%’ symbol, you can either press the ‘%’ button on the toolbar or go to the menu bar, select Format, then Number, and choose Percent.

After formatting for percent as described above, your result should be instantly converted from decimal to percentage.

Here, take a look at what ours looks like:

Step 6: Generate Percentage Result for Other Reps

If you’ve been following along with the steps from the start, you might have realized that we’ve only calculated the result for the first sales representative. Now, we need to do the same thing for the rest of the team. But don’t worry, there’s a nifty trick in Google Sheets that makes it super easy.

Instead of doing all the calculations manually, we’re going to use a handy tool in Google Sheets called “Auto Fill.” This feature will automatically generate the results for the other sales reps, saving you time and effort.

To see exactly how this works, check out the video below. It’ll show you how to use Google Sheets’ Auto Fill feature. It’s a fantastic tool for quickly extending calculations to multiple data points without the need for manual input.

Looking at everything we have covered so far, we are sure you’ll agree that calculating the percentage of a total using the Google Sheets percentage formula is easy.

## Final Thoughts

Throughout this article, we’ve explored the profound impact of percentages in Google Sheets, shedding light on how they can empower users, both new and experienced, to navigate the world of data with ease.

We’ve touched upon three critical applications of the Google Sheets Percentage Formula:

• Simplifying Discount Calculations: We’ve witnessed how this formula can be a lifesaver for businesses like Mary’s online store, making the process of applying discounts efficient and precise. It saves time and ensures accurate pricing, which is crucial for businesses playing with pricing strategies.
• Understanding Proportions: Beyond discounts, we’ve ventured into the world of calculating percentage changes in sales for various representatives. This skill is indispensable for those engaged in inventory management and data analysis, enabling data-driven decision-making.
• Revealing Proportions Within Totals: We’ve also taken a look at calculating the percentage of a specific element within a larger dataset. This capability is essential for tasks like evaluating product sales, dissecting expenses, and interpreting demographic data. Google Sheets makes it straightforward to perform these calculations and gain deeper insights.

As you continue to explore the possibilities of Google Sheets, remember that percentages are versatile allies. They have the ability to simplify intricate calculations and uncover valuable insights hidden within your data. We encourage you to tap into the full potential of the Google Sheets Percentage Formula for your unique requirements.

For a treasure trove of exciting Google Sheets tutorials and helpful tips, be sure to explore our blog. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, our resources are designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to excel in your spreadsheet endeavors. So, fasten your seatbelts and embark on your journey to spreadsheet success with percentages!