# How to Set Decimal Places in Excel Using Formula?

When working with numbers in Microsoft Excel, controlling the number of decimal places displayed is a crucial skill for creating professional and easy-to-read spreadsheets. Whether you’re dealing with financial data, scientific calculations, or any other type of numerical information, setting the decimal places in your Excel formulas is essential for maintaining readability, consistency, and precision.

In this article, we’ll explore several methods to set decimal places in Excel formulas, including using the ROUND function, changing the cell formatting, and utilizing the ROUNDUP, ROUNDDOWN, TRUNC, INT, and FLOOR functions.

## Why Set Decimal Places in Excel?

Before diving into the various methods for setting decimal places, let’s understand why this skill is so important. There are several key reasons why you should control the number of decimal places in your Excel spreadsheets:

**Readability**: When you have a spreadsheet filled with numbers, it can be challenging to make sense of the data if the decimal places are not consistent or if there are too many digits after the decimal point. By setting the decimal places, you can make your data much easier to read and understand at a glance.**Consistency**: Ensuring that all cells in your spreadsheet display the same number of decimal places creates a consistent and professional appearance. Inconsistent decimal places can make your spreadsheet look sloppy and unprofessional, which can detract from the credibility of your data.**Precision**: In some cases, you may need to control the level of precision in your calculations and displayed results. Setting decimal places allows you to specify exactly how many digits after the decimal point you want to include in your calculations and display in your cells.

Now that we understand the importance of setting decimal places let’s explore the different methods you can use to achieve this in Excel.

## Method 1: Using the ROUND Function

The ROUND function is the most common and straightforward way to set decimal places in an Excel formula. This function allows you to round a number to a specified number of digits. The syntax for the ROUND function is as follows:

=ROUND(number, num_digits)

**number**: The value or cell reference containing the number you want to round.**num_digits**: The number of digits to which you want to round the number.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the ROUND function to set decimal places:

- Select the cell where you want to display the rounded result.
- Type the formula =ROUND( followed by the cell reference or number you want to round, a comma, and the number of decimal places you want to display.
- Press Enter to display the rounded result.

For example, if you want to round the value in cell A1 to two decimal places, you would use the following formula:

=ROUND(A1, 2)

This formula will take the value in cell A1, round it to two decimal places, and display the result in the cell where you entered the formula.

## Method 2: Changing Cell Formatting

Another way to set decimal places in Excel is by changing the cell formatting. This method doesn’t alter the underlying value in the cell but only changes how it’s displayed visually. Follow these steps to change cell formatting:

- Select the cell or range of cells you want to format.
- Right-click on the selected cell(s) and choose “Format Cells” from the context menu, or press Ctrl+1 on your keyboard.
- In the Format Cells dialog box, select the “Number” tab.
- Choose “Number” from the category list on the left side of the dialog box.
- In the “Decimal places” field, enter the number of decimal places you want to display.
- Click OK to apply the formatting to the selected cell(s).

Here’s a table comparing the pros and cons of using cell formatting to set decimal places:

Pros | Cons |
---|---|

Doesn’t change the underlying value | Formatting is only visual, not in formulas |

Easy to apply to multiple cells at once | May need to reapply if data changes |

Keep in mind that changing cell formatting only affects how the numbers are displayed visually and does not change the underlying values or formulas in the cells.

## Method 3: Using ROUNDUP and ROUNDDOWN Functions

In addition to the ROUND function, Excel also provides the ROUNDUP and ROUNDDOWN functions, which give you more control over the rounding direction.

### ROUNDUP Function

The ROUNDUP function always rounds up to the specified number of decimal places, regardless of the digit after the desired decimal place. The syntax for the ROUNDUP function is:

=ROUNDUP(number, num_digits)

For example, if you want to round up the value in cell A1 to two decimal places, you would use the following formula:

=ROUNDUP(A1, 2)

### ROUNDDOWN Function

The ROUNDDOWN function, as the name suggests, always rounds down to the specified number of decimal places, regardless of the digit after the desired decimal place. The syntax for the ROUNDDOWN function is:

=ROUNDDOWN(number, num_digits)

For example, if you want to round down the value in cell A1 to two decimal places, you would use the following formula:

=ROUNDDOWN(A1, 2)

These functions provide more flexibility when you need to control the rounding direction based on your specific requirements.

## Method 4: Using TRUNC, INT, and FLOOR Functions

In some cases, you may want to remove decimal places without rounding the numbers. Excel provides several functions that allow you to achieve this, including TRUNC, INT, and FLOOR.

### TRUNC Function

The TRUNC function removes the decimal portion of a number without rounding it. The syntax for the TRUNC function is:

=TRUNC(number)

For example, if you want to remove the decimal portion of the value in cell A1, you would use the following formula:

=TRUNC(A1)

### INT Function

The INT function rounds a number down to the nearest integer, effectively removing any decimal places. The syntax for the INT function is:

=INT(number)

For example, if you want to round down the value in cell A1 to the nearest integer, you would use the following formula:

=INT(A1)

### FLOOR Function

The FLOOR function rounds a number down to the nearest multiple of a specified significance. The syntax for the FLOOR function is:

=FLOOR(number, significance)

For example, if you want to round down the value in cell A1 to the nearest multiple of 0.05, you would use the following formula:

=FLOOR(A1, 0.05)

These functions provide alternative ways to remove decimal places without rounding, which can be useful in certain scenarios.

## Tips for Setting Decimal Places in Excel

To make the most of setting decimal places in your Excel spreadsheets, consider the following tips:

**Be consistent**: Maintain the same number of decimal places throughout your spreadsheet for readability and consistency. Inconsistent decimal places can make your data harder to understand and compare.**Consider your audience**: When deciding on the appropriate number of decimal places, think about your audience and the purpose of your spreadsheet. For financial data, two decimal places may be sufficient, while scientific data may require more precision.**Use cell formatting for display purposes**: If you only need to change how numbers appear visually without altering the underlying values, use the cell formatting method (Method 2). This allows you to maintain the original data while presenting it in a more readable format.**Choose the right function**: Select the appropriate rounding function based on your specific needs. Use ROUND for general rounding, ROUNDUP for always rounding up, ROUNDDOWN for always rounding down, and TRUNC, INT, or FLOOR for removing decimal places without rounding.

## Final Thoughts

Setting decimal places in Excel formulas is a vital skill for creating professional, consistent, and easy-to-read spreadsheets. By mastering the various methods discussed in this article, including the ROUND function, cell formatting, ROUNDUP, ROUNDDOWN, TRUNC, INT, and FLOOR functions, you’ll be able to control the display of decimal places in your cells precisely.

Remember to consider your audience, maintain consistency throughout your spreadsheet, and choose the appropriate method based on your specific requirements. With these techniques in your Excel toolkit, you’ll be well-equipped to create visually appealing and informative spreadsheets that effectively communicate your numerical data.

## FAQs

### How do I set decimal places for multiple cells at once?

To set decimal places for multiple cells simultaneously, use the cell formatting method (Method 2). Select all the cells you want to format, right-click, choose “Format Cells,” and specify the number of decimal places in the “Number” tab.

### Can I set different decimal places for different cells in the same spreadsheet?

Yes, you can set different decimal places for different cells or ranges within the same spreadsheet. Apply the desired formatting or use the appropriate function for each cell or range individually.

### Will setting decimal places affect my formulas?

If you use a function like ROUND, ROUNDUP, ROUNDDOWN, TRUNC, INT, or FLOOR within your formula, it will affect the result of the calculation. However, if you only change the cell formatting, the underlying values and formulas remain unchanged.

### What is the difference between ROUND, ROUNDUP, and ROUNDDOWN functions?

The ROUND function rounds a number to a specified number of decimal places, while ROUNDUP always rounds up and ROUNDDOWN always rounds down to the specified number of decimal places, regardless of the digit after the desired decimal place.

### How can I remove decimal places without rounding the number?

To remove decimal places without rounding the number, you can use the TRUNC, INT, or FLOOR functions. TRUNC removes the decimal portion of a number, INT rounds down to the nearest integer, and FLOOR rounds down to the nearest multiple of a specified significance.

Vaishvi Desai is the founder of Excelsamurai and a passionate Excel enthusiast with years of experience in data analysis and spreadsheet management. With a mission to help others harness the power of Excel, Vaishvi shares her expertise through concise, easy-to-follow tutorials on shortcuts, formulas, Pivot Tables, and VBA.