How to Remove Decimals in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool that allows users to perform complex calculations and manipulate data effectively. One common requirement when working with numerical data is to remove decimals. Whether you need to present your data in a whole number format, or perform calculations that involve integers only, Excel provides various techniques to remove decimals. In this article, we will explore different methods for removing decimals in Excel and how to apply them to achieve our desired results.

Understanding Decimal Values in Excel

Before we dive into the techniques for removing decimals in Excel, it is crucial to understand how decimal values work in this software. In Excel, numbers can have up to 15 significant digits. The value after the decimal point is referred to as the decimal places. Decimal places represent the precision of a number in Excel. They can range from 0 to 30, allowing for exceptionally precise calculations.

By default, Excel displays two decimal places for numbers. However, you can modify this display depending on your specific requirements. The ability to customize decimal places is a handy feature in Excel. It allows data to be presented in a more readable format, whether it’s for financial analysis, data visualization, or any other purpose.

The Importance of Removing Decimals in Excel

Removing decimals in Excel is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it can simplify the representation of numerical values, making them more easily understandable to the end user. For example, when dealing with large datasets that contain decimal numbers, eliminating decimals can enhance clarity.

Secondly, removing decimals in Excel is often necessary for certain calculations. Some mathematical operations, such as counting or grouping, may specifically require whole numbers or integers. By eliminating decimals, you ensure that your calculations are accurate and align with the desired outcome.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Decimals in Excel

Now, let’s walk through the various methods available in Excel to remove decimals. Each technique offers a unique approach to achieving the desired result, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your specific needs.

1. Using the Decimal Number Format in Excel

The Decimal Number Format option in Excel allows you to control the number of decimal places displayed for a particular cell or range. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) or range where you want to remove decimals.
  2. Right-click on the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select the “Number” category and choose the desired number of decimal places (e.g., 0 for whole numbers, or any other number to display a specific number of decimal places).
  5. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

This method is simple and effective when you want to change the decimal display for a specific range of cells. However, it does not modify the actual underlying values; it only affects the visual representation.

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2. Utilizing the ROUND Function to Remove Decimals in Excel

The ROUND function in Excel allows you to round numbers to a specified number of decimal places. This function can be useful when you want to remove decimals and round the value simultaneously. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new column adjacent to the column containing the values you want to round.
  2. In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula “=ROUND(A1,0)” (assuming the values are in column A).
  3. Drag the formula down to apply it to all the necessary cells.

The ROUND function takes two arguments: the original number and the number of decimal places to round to. By setting the number of decimal places to 0, the function returns a whole number, effectively removing the decimals. Remember to adjust the cell references in the formula according to your data layout.

3. Rounding Numbers to Whole Numbers in Excel

If you prefer to keep the original values intact while displaying them as whole numbers, you can use the INT function combined with the ROUND function. This approach rounds the values down to the nearest integer. To implement this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Insert a new column next to the column with the values you want to round.
  2. In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula “=INT(A1)” (assuming the values are in column A).
  3. Drag the formula down to apply it to all the necessary cells.

The INT function stands for “integer,” and it removes the decimal part of a number, effectively rounding it down to the nearest integer. Coupled with the ROUND function, you can display the original values as whole numbers without altering the actual data.

4. Truncating Decimal Places in Excel

If you want to truncate the decimal places in Excel, meaning that you remove the decimal part entirely without rounding, you can use the TRUNC function. To truncate decimal places, follow these steps:

  1. Insert a new column next to the column containing the values you want to truncate.
  2. In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula “=TRUNC(A1,0)” (assuming the values are in column A).
  3. Drag the formula down to apply it to all the necessary cells.

The TRUNC function truncates a number to a specified number of decimal places. Setting the number of decimal places to 0 eliminates the decimal part, effectively removing it from the value.

5. How to Change Decimal Places in Excel

To change the number of decimal places displayed for an entire worksheet, Excel provides a global setting. This setting allows you to modify the decimal places for all numbers on the worksheet simultaneously. Follow these steps to adjust the decimal places:

  1. Click on the “File” tab in Excel and select “Options.”
  2. In the Excel Options dialog box, choose the “Advanced” tab.
  3. Scroll down to the “Display options for this worksheet” section and locate the “Decimal places” option.
  4. Enter the desired number of decimal places in the box.
  5. Click “OK” to save the changes.
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Changing the global decimal places setting affects the entire worksheet. However, be aware that it does not modify the actual underlying values, only their visual representation.

6. Customizing Decimal Points in Excel

Excel provides several formatting options to customize the appearance of decimal points. One useful technique is to add a thousands separator while removing decimals. To achieve this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) or range where you want to add a thousands separator and remove decimals.
  2. Right-click on the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select the “Number” category.
  5. In the “Decimal places” field, enter 0 to remove decimals entirely.
  6. Tick the “Use Thousands Separator” checkbox.
  7. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

This method allows you to transform your numerical data to a more easily readable format by removing decimals and adding thousands separators.

7. Removing Decimals for Currency Formatting in Excel

When dealing with currency values, it is often necessary to remove decimals to align with the desired currency format. Excel offers a dedicated currency format that automatically formats numbers with the appropriate currency symbol and decimal places. To remove decimals and format numbers as currency, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) or range containing the values you want to format.
  2. Right-click on the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select the “Currency” category.
  5. In the “Decimal places” field, enter 0 to remove decimals.
  6. Choose the desired currency symbol from the dropdown list.
  7. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

This method allows you to format your currency values without decimals, making them more applicable for financial analysis and reporting.

8. Applying the General Number Format to Remove Decimals in Excel

The General number format in Excel provides a basic representation of numbers without any formatting. To remove decimals using the General number format, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) or range you want to format.
  2. Right-click on the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select the “General” category.
  5. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

This method removes decimals entirely, leaving only whole numbers as the visible representation in Excel. It is a straightforward approach for general number formatting purposes, without any specific decimal customization.

9. Removing Decimals for Percentage Calculations in Excel

Percentage calculations often require whole numbers rather than decimals. Excel provides a specialized percentage format that removes decimals and formats numbers as percentages. To remove decimals and format numbers as percentages, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) or range containing the values you want to format.
  2. Right-click on the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab.
  4. Select the “Percentage” category.
  5. In the “Decimal places” field, enter 0 to remove decimals.
  6. Click “OK” to apply the changes.
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This method allows you to format your percentage values without decimals, making them more suitable for calculations and visual representation.

10. Tips and Tricks for Efficiently Removing Decimals in Excel

While these methods provide a range of options for removing decimals in Excel, there are a few additional tips and tricks you can employ to be more efficient:

  • Use formulas: Formulas like ROUND, TRUNC, and INT can be combined with other functions to create more advanced ways of removing decimals.
  • Apply formatting to ranges: Rather than selecting cells individually, you can format entire ranges at once. This ensures consistent formatting across multiple cells, saving time and effort.
  • Create custom number formats: If none of the built-in formats fit your specific requirements, Excel allows you to create custom number formats for more precise control over decimal display.

Converting Decimal Numbers to Integers in Excel

In certain scenarios, it may be necessary to convert decimal numbers to integers while removing the decimal part entirely. Excel offers the INT and ROUND functions, as explained earlier, to achieve this. By applying these functions, you can successfully convert decimals into integers and work with whole numbers exclusively.

It is important to note that converting decimal numbers to integers effectively removes the decimal part, which may result in a loss of precision. Carefully consider the impact of rounding or truncating on your calculations before applying these techniques.

Now that you have an understanding of the various methods to remove decimals in Excel, you can apply these techniques to suit the specific requirements of your data and improve the clarity and accuracy of your calculations. Excel’s flexibility in formatting options empowers you to present your data effectively, ensuring that it is both visually appealing and aligned with your desired outcomes.

By utilizing the appropriate methods and exploring advanced techniques, you can navigate numeric data with ease and confidence, enhancing your Excel skills and making data manipulation a seamless process. Whether it’s rounding, truncating, or applying different formatting options, Excel provides the tools necessary to remove decimals and streamline your work efficiently.

Take the time to explore these methods and experiment with various formatting options in Excel to discover what works best for your specific needs. With practice and familiarity, you will become proficient in removing decimals and unleashing the full potential of Excel for your data analysis and calculations.

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