 Almost daily while we carry out our computational tasks in spreadsheets, whether we create it or receive it from someone, we find ourselves with the need to carry out additions or subtractions of percentages, which although they are simple; certain previous parameters are required for it to work well.

Don’t know how to do it? It may seem complicated at first; But In this article we tell you how to add or subtract various percentages in Microsoft Excel and the instructions you must follow to do it.

Some necessary considerations

Percentages are numerical amounts given in fractions of 100 and are widely used to calculate increases, discounts, interest rates, rents, etc.

Doing addition and subtraction operations with percentages in Excel is easy. Of course, to use this Excel function well, it is essential to know how to use basic operations well, namely, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

One aspect that needs to be understood is that Microsoft Excel converts to decimals when we express percentage values in cells, for example: 1 representing 100% and 0 representing 0%. So 50% is 0.5 and 25% would be 0.25.

If we enter, for example, 40% in a cell, the application converts automatically applying the percentage format, but using the decimal value of 0.4. Due to this, we recommend that when adding or subtracting percentages in Excel you use decimal representations.

How to add or subtract multiple percents

Having clarified some aspects of interest related to the use of percentages in Excel, it is time to answer how percentages are added or subtracted, to understand it let’s see the following example: If we use the Number format function, Excel will show us the decimal value of each percentage in the selected range. Excel will always show us the percentage value but it will do the calculations with decimal values. Therefore, we recommend entering decimal values directly when performing calculations.

As, for example, suppose that there is a column A where there are numerical values that I must add percentages that are in column B. For this, let’s use the following formula: = A3 + (A3 * B3)

In parentheses we see the operation of the percentage of column B, that is, the operation A3 * B3 obtains 41% of 823 and that is 337.43. We add this result to the original value of cell A3 to obtain the final result, which is 1160.43 and represents an increase of 41% from the original value. If we copy that formula in the rest of the cells we will obtain the corresponding values: An alternative way to perform addition or subtraction operations of percentages in Excel is considering that the percentage value to add to all columns is the same.

In that case we suggest you multiply the original value by the decimal value of the percentage plus one. Example: A3 * 1.25; clarifying that this percentage value must be applied to the entire column.

If we want to subtract percentages in Excel we use a formula very similar to the one we used previously to add percentages since we will only change the arithmetic operation. To subtract the percentage in column B from the values in column A we will use the following formula: = A3- (A3 * B3)

The calculation found in parentheses is the percentage that will be subtracted from the original value which will be expressed in numerical values and we suggest applying the Number format function.

So you can use two ways to add or subtract percentages in Excel. Both give the same results but the level of expertise will be decisive to know which is the best method according to your needs. In addition, replacing a formula is also very easy.