Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Fixing the Decimal Point.

Fixing the Decimal Point

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 19, 2017)

2

Most electronic calculators have an option that allows you to specify a fixed location for a decimal point. This comes in real handy when you are working with dollars and cents, for instance. With the decimal point fixed at two places, you can enter "213" and have the calculator translate it as "2.13". Likewise, if you enter "2", the calculator translates it as "0.02".

Excel has a feature that allows you to do the same thing. To fix the number of decimal places assumed when inputting information, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Under Editing Options, make sure that the Automatically Insert a Decimal Point check box is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Using the Places control, specify how many decimal places Excel should assume.
  6. Click the OK button.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7565) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Fixing the Decimal Point.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 6 - 3?

2017-08-19 09:14:27

Allen

On the Mac, Mike, choose Excel > Preferences > Edit. You can change the "Display this number of decimal places" setting.

-Allen


2017-08-19 08:04:45

Mike Smith

Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work in Excel for Mac Version 15.32 (170309).

There is no File tab available in the ribbon and no Options panel anywhere that I can find.

Any suggestions would be very welcome - this tip alone would save me hundreds of clicks a week!


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