Excel: Set the Number of Decimal Places

   Posted February 8, 2004 by David Kirk in Microsoft Excel

Last Updated on

With Excel, people typically have an obnoxious amount of numbers after the decimal point. You can easily get rid of them using the steps in this tech-recipes tutorial.


By default, Excel spreadsheets have too many digits displayed after the decimal point. This makes the spreadsheet unreadable and inappropriate in many cases. One should set his spreadsheet to only display the correct amount of significant digits.

For example, blood pressure machines typically measure to the nearest whole number. How helpful is it to know that an average blood pressure during an experiment is 112.1231/67.2112? Obviously, 112/67 is easier to digest and understand.

To select the number of digits displayed after the decimal point, use the following steps:

    1. Select the Tools menu.
    2. Select Options.
    3. Select the Edit tab.
    4. Select the Fixed decimal Places checkbox.
    5. Select the appropriate number of places.
    6. Click OK

If you need some assistance calculating significant digits, try this page:
http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/tutorials/sig_fig/SIG_dig.htm

 

About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

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