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)


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. ...


Closing a Read-Only Workbook

When you create a workbook that is read-only, users can still make changes to the workbook. When they exit, they are ...

Discover More

Summing Every Fourth Cell in a Row

Need to sum a series of cells that fits some regular pattern? Here are several ways that you can get the summation that ...

Discover More

Non-adjusting References in Formulas

Sometimes making sure that a reference in a formula doesn't get changed is not as simple as putting dollar signs in front ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Turning Off Paste Options

Paste some information into a worksheet and Excel helpfully displays some options related t the paste operation. If you ...

Discover More

Displaying Excel's Developer Tab

The Developer tab of the ribbon is the gateway to many advanced features in Excel, including those features related to ...

Discover More

Displaying Page Breaks

Page breaks can be added to a worksheet manually or automatically. If you want to see where Excel places page breaks, ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

2017-08-19 09:14:27


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


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!

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.