How to apply significant figures in excel

Updated July 20, 2017

Microsoft Excel 2010 can be configured to apply predefined significant figures or decimal places to cells in the Excel spreadsheet. You can apply significant figures to a single cell, group of cells or to the entire Excel document. Predefining the significant figures creates a rule in Excel that is applied to any number that you enter into the cell for which the rule was set.

Double-click the Microsoft Excel 2010 file icon to which you want to apply significant figures to open it. Alternatively, to open a new Excel document, skip to the next step, else go to step 3.

Click the "Start" button on the taskbar, point to "All Programs," and then click "Microsoft Excel 2010."

Press and hold the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and then one-by-one click in the cells to which you want to apply significant figures. This will select the cells you click. To select all the cells in the document, press "Ctrl+A".

Right-click in one of the selected cells and then click "Format Cells."

Click the "Number" tab on the Format Cells dialogue box that opens.

Click "Number" below Category, type the number of significant figures you want in the "Decimal places" box (for example 6), and then click "OK."

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About the Author

Based in Honolulu City, Lyan Uaha has been writing business and computer-related articles since 2007. He has been writing online instructional pieces since 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Kent State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Akron, Ohio.