# How to Make Negative Percentages in Parentheses in Excel [4 Methods]

Do you need to visualize negative percentages in parentheses in Microsoft Excel? Find here the automatic and manual methods you can use to put negative percentage values within brackets!

Microsoft Excel is undoubtedly the most widely used accounting tool to date. You’d confidently use the app to visualize financial data as reports, tables, charts, dashboards, and so on. When you deal with numbers in Excel in the form of sales values, investment amounts, cost of products, commissions earned, etc., you encounter both positive and negative values.

It’s quite obvious that positive numbers are the digits without any mathematical operators (except the addition sign) preceding the values on a table. However, Excel needs to use the subtraction operator or the **minus sign (-)** to denote a negative value. For regular numbers, Excel does this automatically.

When you derive a percentage from various transactions like sales value, commissions given, discounts available, etc., it could be positive or negative. As a thumb rule mentioned earlier, the percentage without any signs to the left is positive. For negative percentages, Excel puts the minus sign before the percentage value.

If the table or worksheet is large enough, it could be challenging to locate the negative percentages by searching the tiny minus or subtraction sign. Here, you need some sort of automatic or manual formatting that can display negative percentages in brackets or parentheses.

It’s surprising that Excel doesn’t offer any pre-configured number formatting to show negative percentages in parentheses. You need to use the methods mentioned in this article to get this done.

## Make Negative Percentages in Parentheses With The Number Format

After researching the Excel interface extensively, I was able to find a built-in data formatting that could enable you to visualize negative percentages in brackets on Excel. Find out the steps here:

Create a table for your datasets as shown above in the Excel worksheet image. Calculate the percentage as you would in the column of your choice. In this tutorial, you can see the percentage of sales difference between **Sales in 2023** and **Sales in 2022** in the **Percentage Difference** column. The formula used to derive the percentage is also available under the **Formula** column.

Now, to format the negative percentage values in a way so that they show up inside parentheses, follow these instructions:

- Select the entire column where you want a negative percentage in parentheses formatting.
- Now, hit the
**Ctrl**+**1**keys together to bring up the**Format Cells**dialog box.

- Select the
**Number**menu inside the**Category**navigation pane. - Inside the
**Negative numbers**menu, choose the bracketed format you want. You could select between bracketed negative values in red font or black font. - Click
**OK**to apply the formatting.

This is a neat and quick way to put all those negative percentages inside brackets. The above Number formatting will only show up on Excel installations that follow the US English dialect. If you’re using any other English dialect, then you may not find the bracketed negative values formatting in the Format Cells dialog box. To resolve the issue, follow these steps:

- On your Windows PC, click the
**Start**menu button. - Now, type
**Control**and click**Control Panel**shown below the**Best match**section.

- Inside the
**Control Panel**, click**Region**. - Click the drop-down list of the
**Format**menu and select**English (United States)**. - Select the
**Apply**button to enforce the changes across the system. - Click
**OK**to save the changes.

However, one drawback is you can’t show the percentage (%) sign to the right of the calculated percentage values. If you need the percent sign, try any of the methods from the below sections.

## Make Negative Percentages in Parentheses With a Custom Format

The Custom number formatting feature on Excel enables you to create personalized formatting for Excel data like numbers and texts. Thus, if Excel doesn’t come with a particular formatting you want, you can create it on your own. This is also known as a flexibility feature of Excel.

Find below how to use a Custom number formatting to put negative percentage values inside brackets for easier identification:

- Select the entire column to which you want to apply a custom number formatting.
- Press
**Ctrl**+**1**to reveal the**Format Cells**dialog box. - Select the
**Custom**menu under the**Category**navigation pane. - Under the
**Type**header, type in the following number formatting code and click**OK**:

`0.00%;(###0.00%)`

The Percentage Difference column will show all the negative percentages inside a bracket instead of putting a **minus (-) sign**. You can find the formula used to calculate the percentage values. Don’t forget to apply the **Percentage** number formatting from the **Format Cells** dialog box before applying the custom number formatting.

## Put Negative Percentages in Parentheses With the Text Function

Another effortless way to transform negative percentage values into bracketed percentage values is by using the **TEXT** function in Excel. It’s a formula-based solution using the Custom number formatting mentioned above. Here’s how it’s done:

- On your Excel table, create a new column named
**Calculation**. - In this column, create a formula to divide the value in the
**Sales Value Difference**column by the corresponding value in the**Sales in 202**2 column. Check the**Formula**column on the above image to find out the used function. Don’t convert this value to a percentage just yet. - Add another column named
**Format Code**. You must use the values in this column when applying the**TEXT**function later. - Inside the
**Format Code**column, copy and paste the following code across the length of the column matching the length of the**Calculation**column’s data.

`0.00%;(0.00%)`

- You’re all set to apply the
**TEXT**function in the**Percentage Difference**column. Just copy and paste the following formula. Adjust the formula according to the structure of your own Excel table.

`=TEXT(F3,H3)`

- Here’s the original TEXT function with an explanation of its components:

**=TEXT(VALUE,FORMAT_TEXT)** where,
**VALUE** is any calculated figure to which you'd like to apply a custom formatting and **FORMAT_TEXT** is the custom formatting for numbers or texts like **0.00%;(0.00%)**

- Hit
**Enter**after entering the**TEXT**function. If everything goes as expected, copy the same formula across the column length. - Excel will put all the negative percentages inside a bracket.
- Hide unnecessary columns like
**Calculation**,**Formula**,**Format Code**, etc., to make the Excel report look clutter-free.

## Put Negative Percentages in Brackets Using a VBA Code

Do you like coding macros on Excel using Excel VBA programming? Then, you’d find the VBA coding method to make negative percentages in parentheses. Here are the steps and codes you must follow:

- Save the existing Excel workbook as Excel macro-Enabled Workbook (XLSM). To do this, click the
**File**menu on the**Excel ribbon**and then choose**Save As**. - Choose the save location under the
**Save As**column. You can**double-click**the**This PC**option to save the file in a local directory. - In the
**Save As**dialog box, click the**Save as type**drop-down list and choose**Excel macro-Enabled Workbook (XLSM)**file format. - Click
**Save**to complete the process. - Create the Percentage Difference folder on your Excel worksheet and create a formula to divide the values in the Sales Value Difference column by the numbers in the Sales in 2022 column. You can use the following formula as well:

`=E2/C2`

- Now, copy-paste the formula on the
**Percentage Difference**column across the length. - Hit the
**Alt**+**F11**keys together to call the**Excel VBA Editor**. - Click the
**Insert**tab on the toolbar and choose**Module**from the context menu. - Copy and paste the following VBA code:

`Public Sub Negative_Brackets()`

Sheets("Sheet1").Range("F2:F5").NumberFormat = "###0.00%;(###0.00%)"

End Sub

- Press
**Ctrl**+**S**to save the code. - Now, close the
**Excel VBA Editor**tool.

- Press
**Alt**+**F8**and select the VBA macro that you just created. - Click
**Run**to execute the macro.

This method is best suited for automatically applying bracketed negative parentheses when needed. You must edit the **Range** and **Sheets** values on the VBA code to match it to your Excel worksheet.

## Conclusions

So far, you learned four different methods to make negative percentages in parentheses in Excel. You can use the Number format method if the percentage sign doesn’t matter in a report. Alternatively, use the rest of the three methods to include the percentage sign.

All these methods should work on the latest Excel desktop app Excel for Microsoft 365 and earliesr editions like Excel 2021, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, and so on.