Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Using an Exact Number of Digits.

Using an Exact Number of Digits

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 1, 2018)

5

Henk asked if there is a way in Excel to display a number using six digits, independent of the placement of the decimal point. For instance, 0.1 would be displayed as 0.10000, 200 would be displayed as 200.000, and 25000 would be displayed as 25000.0.

Unfortunately, there is no formatting that will do the trick; all display formatting seems to be dependent on the position of the decimal point. You can format a display for a specific number of digits after the decimal point, but that number of digits will be used regardless of how many digits appear before the decimal point.

Several ExcelTips subscribers came up with suggestions that involve using formulas to display the number as desired. For instance, the following formula will display the value in A1 using six digits:

=FIXED(A1,IF(ABS(A1)<1,5,5-INT(LOG(ABS(A1)))),TRUE)

Other readers provided formulas that relied on converting the number to a text string and displaying it as such. Converting a number to its textual equivalent, however, has the distinct drawback of no longer being able to use the number in other formulas. (Remember—it is text at this point, not a number.) The above formula does not have that limitation.

If you wanted to, you could also use a macro to set the formatting within a cell that contains a value. The advantage to such a macro is that you don't have to use a cell for a formula, as shown above. The drawback to a macro is that you need to remember to run it on the cells whenever values within them change. The following macro is an example of such an approach:

Sub SetFigures()
    Dim iDecimals As Integer
    Dim bCommas As Boolean
    Dim sFormat As String
    Dim CellRange As Range
    Dim TestCell As Range

    bCommas = False 'Change as desired

    Set CellRange = Selection
    For Each TestCell In CellRange
        If Abs(TestCell.Value) < 1 Then
            iDecimals = 5
        Else
            iDecimals = 5 - Int(Log(Abs(TestCell.Value)) / Log(10#))
        End If

        sFormat = "0"
        If bCommas Then sFormat = "#,##0"
        If iDecimals < 0 Then sFormat = "General"
        If iDecimals > 0 Then sFormat = sFormat & _
          "." & String(iDecimals, "0")

        TestCell.NumberFormat = sFormat
    Next TestCell
End Sub

In order to use the macro, simply select the cells you want to format, then execute it. Each cell in the range you selected is set to display six digits, unless the number in the cell is too large or too small.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10920) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using an Exact Number of Digits.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Grading Assignments with Flubaroo

Flubaroo is a third-party extension for Sheets that can help make grading classroom papers fast and easy. Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Changing the Style Area Font

The style area, displayed at the left side of your document, can be helpful in understanding how styles are used in your ...

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)

Using Fractional Number Formats

If you want information to display on the screen using fractions instead of decimals, you're in luck. Excel provides ...

Discover More

Filling a Cell

One way you can format a cell is so that its contents are repeated over and over again for the entire width of the cell. ...

Discover More

Referencing External Cell Colors

If you want to reference cell colors external to your current workbook, there is no way to do it using Excel functions. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 8 + 7?

2015-05-13 16:41:58

patman

How about this:
You have '1' in A1, '2' in A2, etc, you want it to be '000001', '000002', etc on down the column. Manually type the extra 0s in those cells, highlight them and drag them with the bottom-right handle down the column over the numbers. The numbers are now all 6-digits with leading 0s.


2015-01-16 10:13:33

Dennis Costello

Actually, the exact result for
4656.25 * 2510.35 = 11,688,817.1875, which on my calculator rounds to .19


2014-12-24 04:07:26

Naba Raj Bagale

I want to ask you that why excel does not show the value exact value like calculator after decimal point in Multiplication case. I need accuracy of number while calculating. What is the solution please. For instance I found 4656.25
2510.35
= 11688817.19

Rather the exact number should be 11688817.18

I am terrified with this case. Can you give me solution please.


2014-12-01 04:52:02

Pete

I would use only

=FIXED(A1,5-INT(LOG(ABS(A1))),TRUE)

otherwise the formula suggest above
will yeald wrong results with numbers
smaller than 1 (eg. 0.0012345678)



2014-11-29 20:18:19

Bill Macky

How about the following as a function?

'aaa is value, b is figures displayed,c is 1 for commas
Function MyFixed(aaa, b, c)
MyFixed = Application.WorksheetFunction.Fixed(aaa, b - Int(Log(Abs(aaa)) / Log(10)) - 1, c)
End Function


Seems to work. Actually something I've wanted for a while.


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
Subscribe

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.