Conditionally Displaying Decimal Places in Excel: Part 1


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The simple task of displaying decimal places sometimes causes angst for spreadsheet users. If you have a list of both large and small numbers, there's tension between rounding the small numbers to whole values and making the large numbers harder to read by adding two trailing zeros.

In this article, I'll describe how to add decimal places on demand by way of using a custom number format. In Part 2 of this series, I'll demonstrate an alternative that uses the MOD function along with Excel's Conditional Formatting feature.

Figure 1 shows a sample report with sales figures. Columns C and D both show currency amounts, so the same formatting can be applied to all cells in those columns. However, in column A, rather than displaying the amount in cell A2 as 3,383.00, we'd like to present it as 3,383, but simultaneously show the amount in cell A3 as 0.50. 

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This is a lifesaver for a researcher who makes A LOT of tables...

Fantastic! Thank you for the feedback.

Good info

Thanks, Dery! I appreciate the feedback.

I want to round up or down a calculation in a cell. how do I do this

Excel offers several ways to round calculations. I'd start with the =ROUND() function ( If you have a situation that this won't cover, post some additional details and I'll be glad to elaborate further.

In the same format, can I add an extra condition that says if 0 then show "-"

I don't think this is possible, because once Excel gets to the [<1] portion it returns that format and stops testing. You'd need to take a different approach. One way would be to build three different Conditional Formatting tests that apply the desired number formats.

I need to take a number that is actually currency and add the decimal point in the correct place. In other words, the number 12345 is actually 123.45. How can I make this happen? Or is it impossible?

This can't be done with conditional number formatting. I would put 100 in a worksheet cell, copy it to the clipboard, and then use Paste Special - Divide to transform your existing set of numbers.

I want to add 0 in front of all values which ends with +11

Conditional formatting cannot be used in this fashion. You'll need to use an IF statement and concatenation instead.

I modified the format to [=0]#,##0;[<>0]0.000 to avoid 0 values converts to decimal point. Or is there any better method?
Btw, thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu a lot!! You saved me.

You could shorten it to:


Otherwise that's a perfectly valid approach. If you wanted to hide the zero values you can use


Thank you for your feedback!

Great advice! You have saved somebody with a whole lot of bland spreadsheets a lot of time! I can't thank you enough!

Fantastic! Thanks for taking a moment to post your thoughts!

I was looking for a way to only display the decimal where there is one. Let's say I have 1/3, 2 even, and 4.3. I'd want it to display 0.33, 2, and 4.33. Instead I have either 0.33, 2.00, and 4.33 or 0.33, 2, and 4. With custom number formats I can get 0.33 and 2. and 4.33, but I want to remove that extra decimal.

Am I making any sense?

I'm just now running across your question. I'm not quite clear what your goal is. Are you trying to display 0.3, 2.0, and 4.3?

please advise me to how to add non-roundup decimal cell with round up decimal cell which result will be shown in non roundup format and also the result will be display as the sum after the roundup not the result calculate by the excel as its done exactly.

I want the exact formula for solving for e.g.

add. Result of 10.7+25.7+24.4+25=85.8(as excel done)

but i want the ans as 11(round up 10.7)+26(round up 25.7)+24.4(non-round up )+25(non-round up)=86.4(non-round up) rather than 85.8 or 86.

urgently revert soon

I cannot figure out how to keep my .00 in the column. For example I try to convert a cell containing 4500 into 45.00 but the zeros keep disappearing with the "100" formula or if I try to change the decimal point it just adds 4500.00. Please help. Thank you!

I'm just now running across your question. As far as I know conditional formatting cannot be used in the fashion that you're describing. You'll have to physically divide the numbers by 100.

Looks like Excel has an undocumented limit of a maximum of two conditions per number format. Also, the bracketed conditions can either come before or after the number format that they apply to.

Thank you for improving my article! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Thank you man. You saved my day. This was exactly what I was looking for the past 2 days. God bless you man.

Btw, how did you get this idea? Means how did you that the cell formatting takes precedence over normal conditional formatting or otherwise?