# Decimal point or trailing zeros unexpectedly appear in number in Excel

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## SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel, when you type a number into a cell, a decimal point or trailing zeros may be automatically placed in the number. For example, when you type 2158, the number may be displayed as 21.58 in the cell.

## CAUSE

This behavior occurs if the Fixed decimal option is turned on. When the Fixed decimal option is turned on, Excel automatically places a decimal point in the numbers that you enter, based on the number of decimal places defined in the Places box.

## RESOLUTION

To resolve this behavior, turn off the Fixed decimal option. To do this, follow the steps appropriate to your version of Excel.

If you are running Microsoft Excel 2000, Microsoft Excel 2002, or Microsoft Office Excel 2003, follow these steps:
1. Start Excel, and then open your workbook.
2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Edit tab.
3. Click to clear the Fixed decimal check box, and then click OK.
If you are running Microsoft Excel 98 Macintosh Edition, Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac, Microsoft Excel X for Mac, or Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac, follow these steps:
1. Start Excel, and then open your workbook.
2. On the Edit menu or on the Tools menu, click Preferences, and then click the Edit tab.
3. Click to clear the Fixed decimal check box, and then click OK.

Turn on the Fixed decimal option when you want to enter numbers with a fixed number of decimal places or trailing zeros. To do this, click to select the Fixed decimal check box. Then, in the Places box, type a positive value for the number of digits that you want to appear to the right of the decimal point. Or, type a negative value for the number of digits that you want to appear to the left of the decimal point. For example, if you type 2 in the Places box, and then type 2158 in the cell, the number is displayed as 21.58. If you type -2 in the Places box, and then type 2158 in the cell, the number is displayed as 215800.

Note To override this option, manually type a decimal point when you type the number.

## Properties

Article ID: 305567 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 5.2
##### APPLIES TO
• Microsoft Office Excel 2003
• Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
• Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
• Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
• Microsoft Excel X for Mac
• Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
• Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
kbprb KB305567