How To Do Percentages In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to do percentages in Google Sheets.

How To Do Percentages In Google Sheets

When working in Google Sheets, you’ll often find you need to use percentages in order to calculate sales tax, test scores, inflation rates and many other everyday concepts.

Fortunately, Google Sheets makes it easy to calculate and format percentages with simple formulas and a few clicks

Formatting Percentages

Percentages are numbers expressed as fractions of 100.

For example, if 75 out of 100 students in a class pass a test, that can be represented by the math equation 75/100, or 0.75, which is another way of writing 75%.

If you have a percentage calculated in Google Sheets, it will likely display as a decimal such as this.

To format a cell as a percentage, follow these steps:

Step 1

Select the cell or range you want to format

Step 2

Click the percent sign button in the toolbar. The selected range will update

Step 3

By default, Google Sheets formats percentages with two digits after the decimal place.

You can use the Increase and Decrease Decimal Place buttons in the toolbar to change the number of digits after the decimal if you would like

Percentage Formulas

The general formula for calculating a percentage is PART/TOTAL = PERCENTAGE, but in this case we have the percentage (the sales tax rate) but want to solve for the sales tax itself, or the PART in this equation.

With a little algebra, we can re-write the equation as PERCENTAGE x TOTAL = PART, or Sales Tax Rate multiplied by Item Price = Sales Tax Cost.

To set up this calculation in Google Sheets, follow these steps

Step 1

Enter the Item Price into a cell so we can reference it with a formula

Step 2

Enter the Sales Tax Rate. Before formatting the cell as a percentage, it should come out as a decimal between 0 and 1

Step 3

Format the Sales Tax Rate as a percentage following the steps above

Step 4

Click on the cell you want to calculate the sales tax in and type the following formula “=C2*D2”. In this example, the Item cost is in cell C2 and the Sales Tax Rate is in cell D2.

Step 5

Hit enter and the Sales Tax Amount will be calculated. If you update the item cost of Sales Tax Rate, the Sales Tax will update accordingly


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to do percentages in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.