Fixing the Decimal Point

Most electronic calculators have an option that allows you to specify a fixed location for a decimal point. This comes in real handy when you are working with dollars and cents, for instances. With the decimal point fixed at two places, you can enter “213” and have the calculator translate it as “2.13”. Likewise, if you enter “2”, the calculator translates it as “0.02”.

Excel has a feature that allows you to do the same thing. To fix the number of decimal places assumed when inputting information, follow these steps if you are using Excel 2007:

  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 selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  5. Using the Places control, specify how many decimal places Excel should assume.
  6. Click the OK button.