Microsoft KB Archive/47577

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Excel: Precision As Displayed Command Rounds Numbers

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 1.x, 2.2, 3.0, 4.0


The Precision As Displayed command in Microsoft Excel rounds any value that has been formatted to contain a fixed number of decimal places. The values, which are stored internally, then match those showing on the screen, and all worksheet calculations use the rounded values. Values formatted as General are not effected.

Once this command has been put into effect, the original values, which may previously have contained more decimal places, are no longer available.

NOTE: This information is true only for entered values; values that are returned as a result of formulas can be returned to their full precision. In Excel 1.5 and earlier, you can restore full precision to values returned by formulas by choosing Full Precision from the Options menu. In Excel 2.0 or later, choose Calculation from the Options menu and deselect Precision As Displayed.


In Excel 2.0 or later, Precision As Displayed is applied only to the document for which it is chosen and the option is saved with the worksheet.

In Excel 1.5 and earlier, while the Precision As Displayed command is in force, it is applied to any worksheet that is open or activated during a session, but is not saved with the worksheet.

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Last Reviewed: March 15, 1999
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