How to find percentage between two numbers in Excel

percentage difference between two percentage

In MS-Excel, it is possible to calculate percentage-related problems easily. As in our daily life, we frequently use percentages (%) for different purposes; that’s why Excel has so many ways and options to make these things more manageable and smoother. In this article, I will show some methods to find the percentage between two numbers in Excel.

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Percentage Basics in Excel

In Excel, the percentage is calculated using the following formula:

Difference/Total = Percentage 

Generally, when we calculate any percentage, we need to multiply the total result by 100. But here in Excel, we do not need that. So instead, we can convert any work into percentages by following the step:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. Move to the Number section (4th section on Home tab).
  3. Select Percentage % option.
    select Percentage % option.
  4. Make it more accurate by selecting the Increase Decimal or Decrease Decimal option. I have shown all the steps in detail in different methods.

Five ways to find percentage between two numbers in Excel

1. How to find percentage between two numbers with formula in Excel

For showing this example, let’s consider a dataset of employees. Where their current year’s salary and previous year’s salary are given. Now we want to calculate the changes in salary 

For each employee in percentages using the formula:

(Current Salary – Previous Salary) / Previous Salary 

How to find percentage between two numbers with formula in Excel

For this, we will follow the following steps:

Step 1: Select the first cell of changes in salary and Enter the formula in E3 cell =(D3-C3)/C3, then press enter.

Select the first cell of changes in salary and Enter the formula in E3 cell =(D3-C3)/C3, then press enter.

Step 2: Copy the formula for the cells up to E7.

Copy the formula for the cells up to E7.

Step 3: Go to the Home tab.

Go to the Home tab

Step 4: Select % (percentage)  option. Then all the cells (E3 to E7) will be converted into percentages.

Select % (percentage)  option. Then all the cells (E3 to E7) will be converted into percentages.

Step 5: To show a more accurate value, you can click on the Increase Decimal option. This will give a more precise answer in percentages.

For showing a more accurate value you can click on the Increase Decimal option. This will give a more accurate answer in percentages.

Step 6: If you don’t need to do that, you can make it like the previous one by selecting the Decrease Decimal option.

If you don't need to do that you can make it like the previous one by selecting the Decrease Decimal option.

Read More: How to Calculate Percentage Increase in Excel (Examples with All Criteria)


2. How to recognize and mark negative percentages in Excel

Sometimes the second number can be more significant than the first number that will calculate negative percentages. In this situation, we can find out the opposing portions and mark them. Let’s consider the above example. If Georges Salary in 2021 is decreased, then the changes in Salary will give a negative value. To find out and mark these types of negative percentages, we need to follow the steps below:

How to recognize and mark negative percentages in Excel

Step 1: Select the cells and right-click or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+1 and select the Format Cells option.

Select the cells and right click or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+1 and select Format Cells option.

Step 2: Select the Custom option.

Select the Custom option

Step 3: Type any of the following things in the Type box

00%;[Red]-0.00% -> for marking red negative percentage up to 2 decimal points.

0%;[Red]-0% -> for marking red negative percentage without decimal points.

Type any of the following things in the Type box 00%;[Red]-0.00% -> for marking red negative percentage upto 2 decimal points. 0%;[Red]-0% -> for marking red negative percentage without decimal points.

Step 4: Select OK, then it will show the output.

Select OK then it will show the output

Step 5: All the negative values will be marked Red

All the negative values will be marked Red

Read More: Percentage Formula in Excel (6 Examples)


3. How to calculate percentage changes between rows in Excel

Let’s assume we have a dataset of any product with its yearly price for showing this process. Now we need to compare the yearly price changes in percentages for that product. So we need to calculate the percentages corresponding to each row.  

How to calculate percentage changes between rows in Excel

Step 1:  Enter the formula =(D6-D5)/D5 in the first cell E5.

Enter the formula =(D6-D5)/D5 in the first cell E5

Step 2: Select the other cells up to E10 to copy down the formula.

Select the other cells up to E10 to copy down the formula

Step 3: Make the negative value Red following method 2.

Make the negative value Red following the method 2

Read More: Percentage Difference between Two Percentages Excel (2 Easy Ways)


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4. How to increase/decrease a number by percentage in Excel

Excel provides an efficient process when we need to increase or decrease any number in percentage form. For instance, we have a product list and their actual price. Also, the VAT percentage for each product is given. Now we will calculate the price after VAT using the following formula in Excel:

= Actual Price * (1 + VAT Percentages (%))

How to increase/decrease a number by percentage in Excel

Step 1: Select the first cell G5 and enter the formula =E5*(1+F5).

Select the first cell G5 and enter the formula =E5*(1+F5)

Step 2: Select the cell up to G9 to copy down the formula.

Select the cell up to G9 to copy down the formula

Step 3: Select the $ option in the Number section to show currency as dollars.

Select the $ option in the Number section to show currency as dollars

Step 4: Same Way we can decrease any number by changing the formula 

= Actual Price * (1 - Discount (%))

Same Way we can decrease any number by changing the formula = Actual Price * (1 - Discount (%))

Read More: How to find percentage between two numbers in Excel


5. How to calculate percentages using the keyboard shortcut

Excel provides different shortcuts for various purposes. Here I will show how to use shortcuts for percentage purposes. For showing the process, let’s consider the same example used in the first method, Method 1. 

We will start from step 3.

How to calculate percentages using the keyboard shortcut

Step 1: Now enter keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+%.

Now enter keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+%

Step 2: All the values will be converted into % in column E.

All the values will be converted into % in column E

Read More: Excel formula to calculate percentage of grand total (4 Easy Ways)


Conclusion

This is how you can calculate percentages in Excel for different purposes. Excel will help even if you are not good at math, especially dealing with rates. It provides a lot of ways to handle percentages related issues most easily and comfortably. You can follow any method from the methods mentioned above for different purposes. 


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Md. Abdullah Al Murad

Md. Abdullah Al Murad

Hello! Welcome to my Profile. Currently, I am working and researching Microsoft Excel, and here I will be posting articles related to this. My last educational degree is BSc, and my program was Computer Science and Engineering from American International University-Bangladesh. I am a Computer Science graduate with a great interest in research and development. Always try to gather knowledge from various sources and try to make innovative solutions.

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