Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 4, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

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.

Remember that this control only affects any new values that you enter into a cell. It does not affect any values entered previously. Thus, if a cell already contains the value 1.2345, then changing the setting to 2 decimal places will not change the value to 1.23 or 123.45.

It also only affects new values entered where you don't include a decimal point. Thus, if you have the decimal places set to 2 and you enter "1.2345" (with the decimal point), then the value entered will include the four decimal places.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7565) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 3 + 0?

2023-02-04 11:33:13

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox includes the FixedDecimal macro to enable or disable fixed decimal data entry. You can easily adjust the fixed decimal place (positive or negative) assigned to numbers entered without a decimal point.
My Excel Toolbox also includes the following function to return the fixed number of decimal places, or FALSE if that feature is disabled:
=FixedDecimalPlaces()
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/
For related discussion, see https://excelribbon.tips.net/T007563_Entered_Values_are_Divided_by_100.html


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