Change a number to a percentage (%) in Excel

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Have you ever wanted to change a number into a percentage in Excel? The easiest way is to just type the number in and add the % symbol (by holding the shift key and F5), and then hitting enter.  If you want to change a number afterwards into a percentage, here is what you do:

  1. Click on the cell that you want to turn into a percentage
  2. On the home tab, look for the number group about half way across the ribbon, and then click on the percentage symbol

That’s it?  Well not quite.  You may notice that your percentage may now have a few extra zeros on the end!  Hmm that isn’t right.  That is because Excel knows percentages to be a fraction of a single whole number.  For example if your number was 34, and you did the above procedure, the cell would now look like 3400%.  Excel thought that 34 meant 34 times, or 3400%.

To fix it up, click on the cell and delete the two extra zeros from the cell.

To avoid it happening in the future, just remember that you need to use the decimal point when you type numbers in.  For example, 0.34 (which equals 34%), instead of 34 (which equals 3400%).

It may seem a little complex at first, but once you start playing around with percentages in your spreadsheet you will pick it up very quickly!

’till next time!

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