Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets With the Round Function

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Google Spreadsheets' ROUND Function

Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets with the ROUND Function
Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets. © Ted French

The ROUND function can be used to reduce a value by a specific number of decimal places.

In the process, the final digit, the rounding digit, is rounded up or down.

The  rules for rounding numbers that Google Spreadsheets follows, dictates;

  • If the value of the number to the right of the rounding digit is less than five, the rounding digit is left unchanged;
  • If the value of the number to the right of the rounding digit is five or higher, the rounding digit is raised by one.

Also, unlike formatting options that allow you change the number of decimal places displayed without actually changing the value in the cell, the ROUND function, like Google Spreadsheets' other rounding functions, does alter the value of the data.

Using this function to round data will, therefore, affect the results of calculations.

The image above displays examples and gives explanations for a number of results returned by Google Spreadsheets' ROUNDDOWN function for data in column A of the worksheet.

The results, shown in column C, depend upon the value of the count argument - see details below.

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The ROUNDDOWN Function's Syntax and Arguments

A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, and arguments.

The syntax for the ROUNDDOWN function is:

= ROUNDDOWN ( number, count )

The arguments for the function are:

number - (required) the value to be rounded

  • This argument can contain the actual data for rounding or it can be a cell reference to the location of the data in the worksheet.

count - (optional) the number of decimal places to leave

  • If the count argument is omitted, the function rounds the value down to the nearest integer
  • If the count argument is set to 1, for example, the function leaves only one digit to the right of the decimal point and rounds it down to the next number
  • If the count argument is negative, all decimal places are removed and the function rounds up that number of digits to the left of the decimal point downward
    • For example, if the value of the count argument is set to -1, the function will remove all digits to the right of the decimal point and round the first digit to the left of the decimal point down to 10 - example 2 in the image above
    • If the value of the count argument is set to -2, the function will remove all digits to the right of the decimal point and round the first and second digits to the left of the decimal point down to 100 - example 4 in the image above
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ROUNDDOWN Function Summary

The ROUNDDOWN Function:

  • Is used to reduce a value by a specific number of decimal places or digits;
  • Always leaves the rounding digit unchanged - never rounds it up;
  • Alters the value of the data in the cell - unlike formatting options that allow you to change the number of decimal places displayed without actually changing the value in the cell;
  • Affects the results of calculations due to this change in data.
  • Always rounds towards zero. Negative numbers, even though they are increased in value by the function, are said to be rounded down (examples 4 and 5 in the image above).
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Your Citation
French, Ted. "Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets With the Round Function." ThoughtCo, Jan. 16, 2018, thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-3123926. French, Ted. (2018, January 16). Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets With the Round Function. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-3123926 French, Ted. "Rounding Numbers in Google Spreadsheets With the Round Function." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-3123926 (accessed January 18, 2018).