How to Divide in Google Sheets

Use formulas, format percentages, and more

Google Sheets uses functions to create formulas for basic mathematical concepts like addition, multiplication, and division. Here's how to divide in Google Sheets. You'll learn how to create a division formula, use it for percentage results, and deal with errors you might experience.

What to Know About Formulas in Google Sheets

To divide two numbers in Google Sheets, you need to create a formula. Here are some important points to remember about Sheets formulas:

  • Formulas always begin with an equal sign ( = ).
  • The equal sign always goes in the cell where you want the answer to go.
  • The division operator is the forward-slash ( / ).
  • Complete the formula by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard.

How to Divide in Google Sheets

Here's how to use the divide function in Google Sheets:

  1. Choose the cell you want the formula to appear in. This example uses cell D1.

    An open Google Sheets file with some numbers typed into it.
  2. Select Functions > Operator > DIVIDE.

    Alternatively, go to the Insert tab to find functions.

    The DIVIDE function in Google Sheets
  3. Choose a dividend and a divisor for the formula. This example uses A1 and B1 as the dividend and divisor, respectively.

    The dividend is the number to be divided. The divisor is the number to divide by. The result is called the quotient.

    A Google Sheets file with a DIVIDE formula entered in one of the cells.

    The divisor cannot equal 0.

  4. Press Enter to complete the formula. The formula result appears in the cell. In this example, the number 2 is in cell D1, since 20 divided by 10 equals 2.

    A Google Sheets file with a completed DIVIDE formula entered.

There are two ways to enter data when creating a formula in Google Sheets. You can enter numbers directly, for example, =DIVIDE(20,10). However, it's better to enter the data into worksheet cells and use the addresses or references of those cells in the formula, for example, =DIVIDE(A1,B1). Using cell references rather than the actual data makes it easier to edit information later if needed. The results of the formula update automatically.

#DIV/O! Formula Errors

Sometimes you may get an error message if the formula is entered incorrectly. The most common error associated with division operations is #DIV/O!. This displays when the divisor is equal to zero, which is not allowed in ordinary arithmetic.

The most likely reason for this error is an incorrect cell reference was entered into the formula. It could also be that the formula was copied to another location using the fill handle, which changed the cell references and resulted in the error.

How to Calculate Percentages With Division Formulas

When the results of a division operation are less than one, Google Sheets represents it as a decimal by default, as shown in row three of the below example, where:

  • The dividend is set to 7.
  • The divisor is set to 21.
  • The quotient is equal to 0.3333333333.
A Google Sheets file displaying the results of a DIVIDE operation where 7 divided by 21 equals 0.3333333333

You can change that result to a percentage by changing the formatting in the cell. To do that, highlight the cell and select Format > Number > Percent. The 0.3333333333 changes to 33.33%.

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