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 September 12, 2020)

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

Zooming In On Your Worksheet

If you have trouble seeing the information presented in a worksheet, you can use Excel's zooming capabilities to ease the ...

Discover More

Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break

Insert a manual page break into the middle of a table, and you may find that subsequent pages of the table don't always ...

Discover More

Calculating the Median Age of a Group of People

Suppose you have a worksheet that contains a list of ages and then a count of people who correspond with those ages. You ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

How Many Rows and Columns Have I Selected?

Want a quick way to tell how may rows and columns you've selected? Here's what I do when I need to know that information.

Discover More

Changing Multiple Cells at Once

Excel includes several different methods of editing information in your cells. If you want to edit multiple cells all at ...

Discover More

Easily Entering Dispersed Data

Need to enter information into a bunch of cells that aren't anywhere near each other in the worksheet? Here's a handy way ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 nine minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.