Entered Values are Divided by 100

Christopher noted that if he enters 1 into a cell, Excel automatically converts it to .01. He wonders why the value is being divided by 100.

There are a few different things that could be causing the problem. The most likely is that Excel is configured so it automatically places a decimal point in your entry. You can tell if this is the case by looking at the status bar; if it has the words “Fixed Decimal” appear there, then this is the cause. Turn it off by following these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Under Editing Options, make sure that the check box for “Automatically Insert a Decimal Point” is cleared. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Click the OK button.

You should note that any values entered with “fixed decimal” entry turned on won’t change back to their original values when it is turned off; the decimal point on the values is actually moved the number of places indicated in the setting.

If the problem persists when you keep entering data, it could be because of some format applied to the cell. In this case, the value isn’t being changed as you enter it; instead the appearance of the value is controlled by whatever format is applied to the cell or cells. The easiest way to check this out is to select the cell and then press Shift+Ctrl+~ (that’s the tilde character, found just below the Esc key). If the value changes back to what you expect, then you know you’ve got a formatting issue that you need to correct.

Finally, it may also be possible that there is a macro intercepting what you enter into the cell and dividing it by 100. This is particularly likely if you know that there are macros in the workbook and the data transformation occurs only when you enter the value into a limited number of cells. The normal place to do this type of change is in the Worksheet_Change or Workbook_Change event handlers.