How to Truncate in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Simplify Your Data

how to truncate in Excel

Truncating in Excel means shortening a number by removing its decimal part without rounding it up or down. You can achieve this by using the TRUNC function. Just type =TRUNC(A1, 0) into a cell, where "A1" is the cell with the number you want to truncate. This will remove any decimal places and keep only the whole number part.

Step by Step Tutorial to Truncate in Excel

Follow these steps to easily truncate numbers in Excel without rounding.

Step 1: Open Excel and Select Your Data

First, open your Excel spreadsheet and select the cell containing the number you want to truncate.

If you don’t have any data yet, you can type a number into any cell. For instance, enter 12.3456 into cell A1 to see truncation in action.

Step 2: Choose an Empty Cell for the Result

Next, click on an empty cell where you want the truncated number to appear.

Make sure this cell is empty so that you can easily view the result without any clutter. Let’s say you choose cell B1.

Step 3: Enter the TRUNC Function

In the chosen empty cell, type =TRUNC(A1, 0) and press Enter.

The TRUNC function has two parts: the cell reference and the number of decimal places. Here, A1 is the cell with your original number, and 0 specifies no decimal places.

Step 4: Press Enter and View the Result

After typing the function, hit the Enter key. The truncated number will now appear in the selected cell.

In this example, cell B1 will now show 12, removing the decimal part of 12.3456.

Step 5: Copy the Formula if Needed

If you need to truncate multiple numbers, you can drag the fill handle to apply the TRUNC function to other cells.

Click the bottom right corner of the cell with the formula and drag it down or across to apply the truncation to adjacent cells.

After completing these steps, your numbers will be truncated, and you’ll see only the whole number parts in your chosen cells.

Tips for Truncating in Excel

  • Always double-check the cell references in your TRUNC formula to ensure you’re truncating the correct numbers.
  • You can use negative numbers in the TRUNC function to truncate digits to the left of the decimal point, such as =TRUNC(A1, -1).
  • Use the fill handle to quickly apply the TRUNC function to multiple cells without retyping the formula.
  • Save your work frequently to avoid losing any changes.
  • Combine the TRUNC function with other formulas to perform more complex calculations involving truncated numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I truncate text in Excel?

No, the TRUNC function only works with numbers. To truncate text, you would need to use different functions like LEFT or MID.

What happens if I use a negative number in the TRUNC function?

Using a negative number will truncate digits to the left of the decimal point. For example, =TRUNC(123.45, -1) would result in 120.

Is truncating the same as rounding?

No, truncating removes the decimal part without rounding, while rounding adjusts the number based on its decimal value.

Can I truncate a whole column of numbers at once?

Yes, you can use the fill handle to drag the TRUNC formula down a column to apply it to multiple cells.

How do I keep the truncated numbers if I delete the original data?

After truncating, you can copy the results and use "Paste Special" to paste them as values, ensuring they remain even if the original data is removed.


  1. Open Excel and select your data.
  2. Choose an empty cell for the result.
  3. Enter the TRUNC function.
  4. Press Enter and view the result.
  5. Copy the formula if needed.


Truncating numbers in Excel is a straightforward way to simplify your data by removing the decimal part without rounding. Whether you’re working on homework, a business report, or just organizing your finances, knowing how to properly truncate can save you time and ensure your data is easy to read. Remember to double-check your cell references and use the fill handle for efficiency. Now that you’ve got the basics down, why not explore other handy Excel functions to make your data management even smoother? Happy Excel-ing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy