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Rounding by Powers of 10

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Rounding by Powers of 10.

If you want to round a number to the nearest 10, 100, or 1000, you can use the ROUND function with negative values for the second parameter. This approach works very well—and very quickly.

For instance, if you have a value in cell D6 and you want to round it to the nearest 100, you could use the following formula:

=ROUND(D6,-2)

This rounds to second digit to the left of the current decimal place. For instance, if D6 contains the value 12345, then the formula returns 12300. Similarly, if D6 contains 12351, then the formula returns 12400.

You can use the same technique to round to the nearest 10 by using -1 as the second parameter, or to the nearest 1000 by using -3.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2404) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Rounding by Powers of 10.

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Comments for this tip:

Srinivas    19 Aug 2015, 02:29
How can we calculate in an excell sheet the value of =power(2,1000000)
Morten I    14 May 2013, 09:07
The MROUND function did not work for negative numbers. To round to one significant digit, I used:
=ROUND(A1,-INT(LOG10(ABS(A1)))+0)

(Obtain additional digits by incrementing from 0. Use error handling for zero values.)
Joseph Lees    14 Nov 2012, 12:54
=MROUND(A1,10^(INT(LOG10(A1))+1))

slightly neater alternative

=MROUND(A1,10^(INT(LOG10(A1))-2))

Rounds to 3 significat figures

(so is correct to 1 part in a thousand, a sensible accuracy for applied maths)
Martin Christen    06 Dec 2011, 13:39
Good basic tip, but it can be taken further. Excel can automatically round to the appropriate power of 10!

Use this formula:
=CEILING(A1,10*10^(INT(LOG10(A1))))

Explanation:

INT(LOG10(A1)) finds the order of magnitude of your data.
(rounded log base 10)
Example: 55.7 -> 1, 4.23 -> 0, 0.035 -> -2)

10*10^ takes the "antilog" (exponential base 10) and rounds it to the next higher power of 10
Example: 55.7 -> 100, 4.23 -> 10, 0.035 -> 0.1

Finally, CEILING( rounds up the number to the desired significance, i.e. the next higher power of 10!
 
 

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