Simplifying Numbers with Excel 2007's INT and TRUNC Functions

You can use Excel 2007's INT (for Integer) and TRUNC (for Truncate) functions on the Math & Trig button’s drop-down menu to round off values in your worksheets. You use these functions only when you don’t care about all or part of the fractional portion of the value.

When you use the INT function, which requires only a single number argument, Excel rounds the value down to the nearest integer. For example, if cell A3 contains the value of pi, and you enter the following INT function formula in the worksheet:

=INT(A3)

Excel returns the value 3 to the cell, the same as if you were to use 0 (zero) as the num_digits argument of the ROUND function.

The TRUNC function uses the following syntax:

=TRUNC(number,[num_digits])

The number argument is the value that you want to round off, and num_digits is the number of digits to which you want the number rounded. The num_digits argument is optional.

The TRUNC function doesn’t round off the number in question; it simply truncates the number by removing all or part (if you include a num_digits argument) of the fractional part of the number. For example, both of these formulas return the value 4.85:

=TRUNC(4.859,2)
=TRUNC(4.851,2)

The only time you notice a difference between the INT and TRUNC functions is when you use them with negative numbers. For example, if you use the TRUNC function to truncate the value of –5.4 in the following formula:

=TRUNC(-5.4)

Excel returns -5 to the cell. If, however, you use the INT function with the same negative value, as in:

=INT(-5.4)

Excel returns -6 to the cell. This is because the INT function always rounds numbers down to the nearest integer.

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