Office solution: How to get percentages from integer values

This week, learn the simple solution to last week's challenge: Can you avoid re-entering integer values that are supposed to be percentages.

Last week, we discussed a interesting problem that arises when you try to format existing integer values as percentages. For instance, the sheet below shows integers before and after. The resulting percentage values probably aren't what you want. Allan.pettie and Joan.edington both gave similar answers. Joan's is the most succinct.

The quickest solution is to use Excel's Paste Special feature to divide the integers by 100, as follows:

  1. Enter the value 100 in a nearby cell.
  2. Select that cell and press [Ctrl]+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
  3. Select the cells that contain the integers you want to format as percentages. In this case, that's A1:A14.
  4. From the Paste dropdown in the Clipboard group (on the Home tab), choose Paste Special. In Word 2003, choose Paste Special from the Edit menu.
  5. Click Divide in the Operation section of the resulting dialog box.
  6. Click OK.

With the cells still selected, click the Percent Style option in the Number group on the Home tab to format the percentages. In Word 2003, click Percent Style on the Formatting toolbar. This time, the formatted results reflect percent values that make sense.

Allan's suggestion of formatting copied values has merit, if you need to retain the original values. For more Paste Special tricks, read 10 powerful ways to use Excel's paste features.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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