Today I decided to take a deeper look at another very but very useful excel function: **the round function in excel**. When would you use it? Basically, if you want to determine the precision that you want to display. So what is the difference between this and changing the number of decimals to be displayed either in the format function or in the top menu?

The biggest difference is that when you use rounding, you will be using the rounded number in future calculations while when using the format, you do not actually see what excel is using.

Another important difference is that you can actually round numbers that are over 0. For example, let’s imagine that you had a budget where you wanted to display expenses by category. Let’s use a simplified version here:

Now if I wanted to display these amounts by taking out the “cents”, I could simply use the excel round function as follows:

=ROUND(number,number of decimals)

In my example:

=ROUND(D5,0)

That would give me the following:

Now if I wanted things to look cleaner, I could round everything to the $10. I would do so by entering the following:

=ROUND(D5,-1)

You get the picture. If I entered -2 for the number of decimals, I would get everything rounded to the nearest hundred dollars and so on. Here is the result:

Now I might want to be conservative. How? I would round down the income numbers and round up the expenses, using the following:

=ROUNDDOWN(D5,-1)

=ROUNDUP(D10,-1)

This would give me the following result:

As is always the case, I would love to help by answering any questions. You can also download the spreadsheet here.

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## Martin Malloy

Hello,

I think it is worthy to note to the readers that when a number is rounded by using an excel function that the number in the cell itself still has the original value. It has not been rounded only its application in the formula that its being used in. So,

if a two different formula referenced the value in a cell but only one used it in with a round function then the results would be different. While you are explaining this you might also describe the Trunc function and what it has to offer. I find the Trunc function to be very useful because I am able to TRULY eliminate the monster decimal numbers that result from some of my formula. Rounding only surpresses the use of the number in a calculation, whereas, the Trunc function truly changes the value of the number as it is used “downrange” in any future formula throughout the spreadsheet.