# Entering decimal points automatically

- Use the
**Increase Decimal**and**Decrease Decimal**places buttons - Format cells to display the specified number of decimal places
- Customize Excel to display the desired number of decimal places

** Note**: Applying a number format to a cell doesn't change the value, but only how the value shows in the spreadsheet:

See How to avoid misleading numbers and Different rounding effects in Excel.

## Use the Increase Decimal and Decrease Decimal buttons

To increase or decrease the displayed number of decimal places for the selected cells, on the **Home** tab, in the **Number** group, click the **Increase Decimal** or **Decrease Decimal** buttons:

Each click on the appropriate button adds or removes one decimal place.

So, you can select an entire spreadsheet and set up as many decimal places as you need.

## Format cells

To format selected cells, do the following:

** 1. ** Do one of the following:

- Right-click on the selection and choose
**Format Cells...**in the popup menu: - On the
**Home**tab, in the**Number**group, click the dialog box launcher: - Press
**Ctrl+1**.

** 2. ** In the **Format Cells** dialog box, on the **Number** tab, in the **Category** list, depending on the type of data you have, for the **Number**, **Currency**, **Accounting**, **Percentage**, or **Scientific** item (see the number formats for more details), in the **Decimal places** field, select or type the number you need:

## Set a default decimal places number in Excel

It is possible to customize Excel to display any number of decimal places instead of the default 2 decimal places.

For example, if you enter **2** in the **Places** box and then type **1234** in a cell, the value will be **12.34**. If you enter **-2** in the **Places** box and then type **1234**, the value will be **123400**.

To change the fixed-decimal-places option, do the following:

** 1. ** On the **File** tab, click the **Options** button:

** 2. ** On the **Advanced** tab, under **Editing options**, select the **Automatically insert a decimal point** checkbox:

** 3. ** In the **Places** box, enter a positive number for digits to the right of the decimal point or a negative number for digits to the left of the decimal point.

* Attention!* The fixed-decimal-places option is a global setting and applies to all workbooks (not just the active workbook). If you forget that this option is turned on, you can quickly end up entering incorrect values.

The **Fixed Decimal** indicator appears in the status bar:

** Note**: The change will not affect data entered before the new decimal places value was set.

See also this tip in French: Comment changer un nombre fixe décimales.