Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
It Takes All Types
Either way, Excel stores the decimal value in the cell (0.12 in this example).
If you use the percent sign, Excel assigns a percentage-number format to the
value in the worksheet so that it appears as 12%.
How to fix your decimal places (when you
don’t even know they’re broken)
If you find that you need to enter a whole slew of numbers that use the same
number of decimal places, you can turn on Excel’s Fixed Decimal setting and
have the program enter the decimals for you. This feature really comes in
handy when you have to enter hundreds of financial figures that all use two
decimal places (for example, for the number of cents).
To fix the number of decimal places in a numeric entry, follow these steps:
1. Choose File ➪ Options ➪ Advanced or press Alt+FTA.
The Advanced tab of the Excel Options dialog box opens.
2. Select the Automatically Insert a Decimal Point check box in the
Editing Options section to fill it with a check mark.
By default, Excel fixes the decimal place two places to the left of the last
number you type. To change the default Places setting, go to Step 3;
otherwise move to Step 4.
3. (Optional) Select or enter a new number in the Places text box or use
the spinner buttons to change the value.
For example, you could change the Places setting to 3 to enter numbers
with the following decimal placement: 00.000.
4. Click OK or press Enter.
Excel displays the Fixed Decimal status indicator on the Status bar to let
you know that the Fixed Decimal feature is now active.
Don’t get in a fix over your decimal places!
When the Fixed Decimal setting is on, Excel
adds a decimal point to all the numeric values
that you enter. However, if you want to enter
a number without a decimal point, or one with
a decimal point in a position different from
the one called for by this feature, you have to
remember to type the decimal point (period)
yourself. For example, to enter the number 1099
instead of 10.99 when the decimal point is fixed
at two places, type 1099 followed immediately
by a period ( ) in the cell. .
And, for heaven’s sake, please don’t forget
to turn off the Fixed Decimal feature before
you work on another worksheet or exit Excel.
Otherwise, when you intend to enter values,
such as 20, you’ll end up with 0.2 instead, and
you won’t have a clue what’s going on!