How to Divide in Excel With the QUOTIENT Function

A series of formulas using the Quotient function in Excel
Ted French

The QUOTIENT function in Excel can be used to carry out a division operation on two numbers, but it will only return the integer portion (whole number only) as a result, not the remainder.

There is no "division" function in Excel that will give you both the whole number and decimal portions of an answer.

  • To carry out regular division operations where the whole number and remainder are returned, use a division formula.
  • To return only the remainder – the fractional or decimal portion of a division operation – use the MOD function.
  • A similar function is the INT function – which always rounds numbers down to the nearest whole number – can be used to remove the fractional portion of a division formula.​

The QUOTIENT Function's Syntax and Arguments

A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, comma separators, and arguments.

The syntax for the QUOTIENT function is:

=QUOTIENT ( Numerator , Denominator )

Numerator  (required) – the dividend (the number written before the forward slash ( / ) in a division operation).

  • This argument can be an actual number or a cell reference to the location of data in a worksheet.

Denominator (required) – the divisor (the number written after the forward slash in a division operation). This argument can be an actual number or a cell reference to the location of data in a worksheet.

QUOTIENT Function Errors

#DIV/0! – Occurs if the denominator argument is equal to zero or references a blank cell (row nine in the example above).

#VALUE! – Occurs if either argument is not a number (row eight in the example).

Excel QUOTIENT Function Examples

In the image above, the examples show a number of different ways that the QUOTIENT function can be used to divide two numbers compared to a division formula.

The results of the division formula in cell B4 shows both the quotient (2) and the remainder (0.4) while the QUOTIENT function in cells B5 and B6 return only the whole number even though both examples are dividing the same two numbers.

Using Arrays as Arguments

Another option is to use an array for one or more of the function's arguments as shown in row 7 above.

The order followed by the function when using arrays is:

  1. the function first divides the numbers in each array:
    • 100/2 (answer of 50);
    • 4/2 (answer of 2)
  2. the function then uses the results of the first step for its arguments:
    • Numerator: 50
    • Denominator: 2
    in a division operation: 50/2 to get a final answer of 25.

Using Excel's QUOTIENT Function

The steps below cover entering the QUOTIENT function and its arguments located in cell B6 of the image above.

Options for entering the function and its arguments include:

  • Typing the complete function: =QUOTIENT(A1,B1) into cell B6 and 
  • Selecting the function and its arguments using the QUOTIENT function dialog box.

Although it is possible to just type the complete function in by hand, many people find it easier to use the dialog box to enter a function's arguments.

Note: If entering the function manually, remember to separate all  arguments with commas.

Entering the QUOTIENT Function

These steps cover entering the QUOTIENT function in cell B6 using the function's dialog box.

  1. Click on cell B6 to make it the active cell – the location where the formula results will be displayed.
  2. Click on the Formulas tab of the ribbon.
  3. Choose Math & Trig from the ribbon to open the function drop down list.
  4. Click on QUOTIENT in the list to bring up the function's dialog box.
  5. In the dialog box, click on the Numerator line.
  6. Click on cell A1 in the worksheet to enter this cell reference into the dialog box.
  7. In the dialog box, click on the Denominator line.
  8. Click on cell B1 in the worksheet.
  9. Click OK in the dialog box to complete the function and return to the worksheet.
  10. The answer 2 should appear in cell B6, since 12 divided by 5 has a whole number answer of 2 (remember the remainder is discarded by the function).
  11. When you click on cell B6, the complete function =QUOTIENT(A1,B1) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet.