How to Round Numbers either Up or Down in Excel

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

Excel can calculate and display numbers out to many decimal places. If you don’t need to be so precise however, you can simplify the display of numbers with a lot of decimal places by rounding them, so they are easier to work with and more readable.

To do so, use the ROUND function. This function takes two arguments: 1) the number you want to round or the cell reference and 2) the number of decimal places you want to round to. This function rounds up or down, depending on the number. That is to say, Excel will round up if the next significat digit is greater or equal to the halfway point, and will round down if it is less than the halfway point.

For example:

• 8.3 rounds down to 8.
• 8.7 rounds up to 9.
• 8.5 rounds up to 9.

As mentioned, you can also specify the number of decimal places you want to round to. For instance, let’s say we have the number: 45.32816. Let’s look at a couple of different ROUND examples:

• ROUND(45.32816, 1) results in 45.3
• ROUND(45.32816,2) results in 45.33
• ROUND(45.32816,3) results in 45.328
• ROUND 45.32816,4) results in 45.3282

The results of the ROUND function may not always be what you want however. There may be times when you need to round up or down, regardless of what the next significant digit is. In this case, you can use the ROUNDUP or ROUNDDOWN function.

For example, =ROUNDUP(45.32,0) returns: 46, whereas =ROUNDDOWN(45.32,0) returns 45.

So when the standard ROUND function doesn't give you want you want, don't forget about ROUNDUP or ROUNDDOWN - they might be just what you need.

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