Microsoft Excel used to be the go-to spreadsheet for most offices, but the cloud-based offerings of Google Sheets made it more viable for any type of PC—an Apple PC or non-Apple PC, basically—that could run Google Chrome.
Google Sheets has multiple features and functions plus it’s free and easy to do collaborations with.
How to Divide in Google Sheets
Division is one of the basic arithmetic operations available to Google Sheets as an electronic spreadsheet, along with addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
The app even has a built-in function that enables you to divide two numbers separated into two cells. With that said, here are the multiple ways to go about spreadsheet-style division.
Method 1: Using the DIVIDE Function
Ostensibly, you can use the native “DIVIDE” function in Google Sheets to divide numbers. Here’s how you do it.
Step 1: Open a spreadsheet and put in two values on Cell A1 and Cell B2. In this case, the number to be divided (Dividend) is on A1 while the number that’s doing the division (Divisor) is on B1.
Step 2: We’re going to divide the value of Cell A1 (Dividend) and the value of B1 (Divisor) with a simple formula using the DIVIDE function. Let’s place it on Cell C1 for posterity. It should look like this.
Press F2 or double-click C1 to put it in “Edit” mode. Then type or copy and paste that formula unto C1.
Step 3: Press Enter. You should get an answer soon afterwards. If you click on C1, you’d see that it has the formula on it, and on the spreadsheet itself, it’s displaying the answer instead.
Step 4: You can also hard-code values for division. This means that instead of referencing cells, you can do simple arithmetic and division on the formula itself like so.
Just type or paste that formula onto Cell C2 this time, and you’ll get an immediate answer for that specific set of numbers.
The two cells feature the same answer but the C1 features cell referencing to divide while C2 uses a hard-coded formula to do its division.
It’s just that it’s more beneficial to use cell references because you’re making a more dynamic division method (you can exchange the numbers on A1 and B1 for something else and C1 will update to reflect the changes).
If you wish to immediately know the answer specifically, just use the hard-coded formula version.
Step 5: Also of note, the divisor cannot be 0 in value. You can’t divide by zero by calculator or by Google Sheets. You’ll get a division error when you do it.
Method 2: Using the DIVDE Operator
A more user friendly way to divide using Google Sheets is to use the DIVIDE operator. In other words, we’ll be using the forward slash or “/” to quickly divide numbers on the sheet.
Step 1: We might as well use the same spreadsheet, right? It still has space to spare. This time, we’ll be using C3 to paste a new formula.
Step 2: Type in or copy and paste the following formula.
Even though C3 is all the way down there, you can still make use of the values of A1 and B1.
Step 3: Press Enter and you should get the same answer as C1 and C2 for C3 since it involves the same numbers anyway.
It’s another division method that’s about as dynamic as C1. Most computer users know how to divide by forward slash anyway compared to using the “DIVIDE” function, but either method is easy to do.
Step 4: You can also use the hard-coded method of division to divide numbers rather quickly without caring about making a dynamic division method. Just use the following formula on Cell C4.
You should get the same result in C4 as with the rest, but this time it’s as quick and easy for a specific set of numbers as C2.
What More Could Be Said?
In summary, you can divide numbers and use your Google Spreadsheet as an impromptu calculator using its native “DIVIDE” function or through a divide operator (forward slash or “/”). Anyone who studied simple arithmetic can easily get how these formulas work.
Google Sheets covers both simple data recordkeeping and simple calculations. You can even use more complex formulas later on as you get more skilled in using the cloud-based product. However, in terms of doing division, it’s as basic as figuring out the dividend from the divisor and using a function.
- Ted French, “How to Divide in Google Sheets“, Lifewire, September 11, 2020
- Brady Gavin, “How to Divide Numbers in Google Sheets“, How to Geek, November 6, 2019
- “How to Divide in Google Sheets (Numbers, Cells, or Columns)“, SpreadsheetPoint.com, January 27, 2022