Rounding Numbers Up in Google Spreadsheets

The image to the left displays examples and gives explanations for a number of results returned by Google Spreadsheets' ROUNDUP function for data in column A of the worksheet. The results, shown in column C, depend upon the value of the count argument - more information below.

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Google Spreadsheets' ROUNDUP Function

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Google Spreadsheets ROUNDUP Function Examples. © Ted French

Round Numbers Up in Google Spreadsheets

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

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

The ROUNDUP 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 ROUNDUP function is:

= ROUNDUP ( number, count )

The arguments for the function are:

number - (required) the value to be rounded

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

  • if the count argument is omitted, the function rounds the value up 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 up 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 upward
    • 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 up to 10 - example 3 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 up to 100 - example 5 in the image above

ROUNDUP Function Summary

The ROUNDUP Function:

  • is used to reduce a value by a specific number of decimal places or digits;
  • will always round the rounding digit upward;
  • 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 away from zero. Negative numbers, even though they are decreased in value by the function, are said to be rounded up (examples 4 and 5 in the image above).
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Google Spreadsheets' ROUNDUP Function Step by Step Example

Google Spreadsheets' ROUNDUP Function Example. © Ted French

Example: Using the ROUNDUP Function in Google Spreadsheets

As seen in the image above, this example will use the ROUNDUP function to reduce the number in cell A1 to two decimal places. In addition, it will increase the value of the rounding digit by one.

To show the effect rounding numbers has on calculations, both the original number and the rounded one will then be multiplied by 10 and the results compared.

Entering the Data

Enter the following data into the designated cells.

Cell Data 
 A1 - 242.24134
 B1 - 10

Entering the ROUNDUP Function

Google Spreadsheets does not use dialog boxes to enter a function's arguments as can be found in Excel. Instead, it has an auto-suggest box that pops up as the name of the function is typed into a cell.

  1. Click on cell A2 to make it the active cell - this is where the results of the ROUNDUP function will be displayed
  2. Type the equal sign ( = ) followed by the name of the function roundup
  3. As you type, the auto-suggest box appears with the names of functions that begin with the letter R
  4. When the name ROUNDUP appears in the box, click on the name with the mouse pointer to enter the function name and open round bracket into cell A2

Entering the Function's Arguments

  1. With the cursor located after the open round bracket, click on cell A1 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference into the function as the Number argument
  2. Following the cell reference, type a comma ( , ) to act as a separator between the arguments
  3. After the comma type a one "2 " as the count argument to reduce the number of decimal places for the value in A1 from five to three
  4. Type a closing round bracket " ) " to complete the function's arguments
  5. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to complete the function
  6. The answer 242.25 should appear in cell A2
  7. When you click on cell A2 the complete function = ROUNDUP( A1 , 2 ) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet

Using the Rounded Number in Calculations

In the image above, the value in cell C1 has been formatted to display only three digits to make the number easier to read.

  1. Click on cell C1 to make it the active cell - this is where the multiplication formula will be entered
  2. Type an equal sign to begin the formula
  3. Click on cell A1 to enter that cell reference into the formula
  4. Type an asterisk ( * ) - the symbol for multiplication in Google Spreadsheets
  5. Click on cell B1 to enter that cell reference into the formula
  6. Press the Enter key on the keyboard to complete the formula
  7. The answer 2,422.413 should appear in cell C1
  8. Type the number 10 in cell B2
  9. Click on cell C1 to make it the active cell.
  10. Copy the formula in C1 to cell C2 using the Fill Handle or Copy and Paste
  11. The answer 2,422.50 should appear in cell C2.

The different formula results in cells C1 and C2 - 2,422.413 vs. 2,422.50 shows the effect rounding numbers can have on calculations, which can be a significant amount in certain circumstances.

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Your Citation
French, Ted. "Rounding Numbers Up in Google Spreadsheets." ThoughtCo, Jan. 17, 2018, thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-up-3123933. French, Ted. (2018, January 17). Rounding Numbers Up in Google Spreadsheets. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-up-3123933 French, Ted. "Rounding Numbers Up in Google Spreadsheets." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/rounding-numbers-up-3123933 (accessed January 23, 2018).