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: Fixing the Decimal Point.

Fixing the Decimal Point

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 19, 2018)

6

Most electronic calculators have an option that allows you to specify a fixed location for a decimal point. This comes in real handy when you are working with dollars and cents, for instances. With the decimal point fixed at two places, you can enter "213" and have the calculator translate it as "2.13". Likewise, if you enter "2", the calculator translates it as "0.02".

Excel has a feature that allows you to do the same thing. To fix the number of decimal places assumed when inputting information, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Fixed Decimal check box is selected.
  5. Using the Places control, specify how many decimal places Excel should assume.
  6. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2755) 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: Fixing the Decimal Point.

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

Understanding the Drawing Canvas

Need to keep your drawing shapes together in one place? The drawing canvas may be exactly what you are looking for.

Discover More

Converting a Table into Text

Word includes a power table editor that allows you to create and work with tables easily. At some point, however, you ...

Discover More

Disabling All Function Keys Except One

Disabling function keys is rather easy to do when you rely on the OnKey method in a macro. This tip looks at how you can ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Displaying Letter Grades

Grading in schools is often done using numeric values. However, you may want to change those numeric values into letter ...

Discover More

Limiting Choices in a Cell

Want to limit what a person can enter into a particular cell? You can use Excel's data validation feature to help enforce ...

Discover More

Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells

If you lose your place on the screen quite often, you might find it helpful to have not just a single cell highlighted, ...

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 four more than 2?

2019-03-29 15:05:49

Kathy Badger

how do I round down a dollar amount to the nearest even tenth of a cent?


2015-09-22 05:39:46

DHIRAJ

it was helpful
thanks a lot


2015-03-22 08:04:05

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Ruri,
Assuuming the 5 columns are A<->E, try to use the following Event-MAcro in that specific sheey.
--------------------------------------
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
If Target.Column <= 5 Then
Application.EnableEvents = False
Target = Target * 1000
Target.NumberFormat = "#,#"
Application.EnableEvents = True
End If
End Sub
----------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)
ISRAEL


2015-03-21 16:38:26

Ruri

I am looking for a way to do something similar to "Fixed-Decimal Places = -3" but only for about 5 specified columns within my worksheet. I want to enter 203 into the cell in that specified column and have it show and be used as 203,000. Is there a way to do this? Thanks ~RB


2013-06-19 19:36:56

John

Note this tip appears to apply to all Workbooks.

Also if you are using later versions of Excel (2010), you need to go to the File - Options - Advanced Dialog box where you will find the Automatic Insertion of Decimal Point Option.

One option would be to create an icon on a custom toolbar that would run the following macro to easily toggle the Automatic Insertion of the Decimal.

Sub DecimalPointTOGGLE()
'
' DecimalPointTOGGLE Macro
' TOGGLES Automatic Decimal Point Insertion
'

'
If Application.FixedDecimal = True Then
Application.FixedDecimal = False
Else
Application.FixedDecimal = True
End If
End Sub

You could also write a short macro that runs when you close your workbook to automatically set Application.FixedDecimal = False.

Likewise you could have it automatically set to Application.FixedDecimal = True when you load the workbook.


2013-06-17 18:46:43

David

It would be useful to know whether this major change applies to Excel or only to the currently active workbook.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.