# Limiting floats to two decimal points

## Limiting floats to two decimal points

### Question

I want `a`

to be rounded to *13.95*.

```
>>> a
13.949999999999999
>>> round(a, 2)
13.949999999999999
```

The `round`

function does not work the way I expected.

### Popular Answer

You are running into the old problem with floating point numbers that not all numbers can be represented exactly. The command line is just showing you the full floating point form from memory.

With floating point representation, your rounded version is the same number. Since computers are binary, they store floating point numbers as an integer and then divide it by a power of two so 13.95 will be represented in a similar fashion to 125650429603636838/(2**53).

Double precision numbers have 53 bits (16 digits) of precision and regular floats have 24 bits (8 digits) of precision. The floating point type in Python uses double precision to store the values.

For example,

```
>>> 125650429603636838/(2**53)
13.949999999999999
>>> 234042163/(2**24)
13.949999988079071
>>> a = 13.946
>>> print(a)
13.946
>>> print("%.2f" % a)
13.95
>>> round(a,2)
13.949999999999999
>>> print("%.2f" % round(a, 2))
13.95
>>> print("{:.2f}".format(a))
13.95
>>> print("{:.2f}".format(round(a, 2)))
13.95
>>> print("{:.15f}".format(round(a, 2)))
13.949999999999999
```

If you are after only two decimal places (to display a currency value, for example), then you have a couple of better choices:

- Use integers and store values in cents, not dollars and then divide by 100 to convert to dollars.
- Or use a fixed point number like decimal.

Read more… Read less…

There are new format specifications, **String Format Specification Mini-Language**:

You can do the same as:

```
"{:.2f}".format(13.949999999999999)
```

**Note 1:** the above returns a string. In order to get as float, simply wrap with `float(...)`

:

```
float("{:.2f}".format(13.949999999999999))
```

**Note 2:** wrapping with `float()`

doesn't change anything:

```
>>> x = 13.949999999999999999
>>> x
13.95
>>> g = float("{:.2f}".format(x))
>>> g
13.95
>>> x == g
True
>>> h = round(x, 2)
>>> h
13.95
>>> x == h
True
```

The built-in `round()`

works just fine in Python 2.7 or later.

Example:

```
>>> round(14.22222223, 2)
14.22
```

Check out the documentation.

I feel that the simplest approach is to use the `format()`

function.

For example:

```
a = 13.949999999999999
format(a, '.2f')
13.95
```

This produces a float number as a string rounded to two decimal points.

Use

```
print"{:.2f}".format(a)
```

instead of

```
print"{0:.2f}".format(a)
```

Because the latter may lead to output errors when trying to output multiple variables (see comments).

Most numbers cannot be exactly represented in floats. If you want to round the number because that's what your mathematical formula or algorithm requires, then you want to use round. If you just want to restrict the display to a certain precision, then don't even use round and just format it as that string. (If you want to display it with some alternate rounding method, and there are tons, then you need to mix the two approaches.)

```
>>> "%.2f" % 3.14159
'3.14'
>>> "%.2f" % 13.9499999
'13.95'
```

And lastly, though perhaps most importantly, if you want *exact* math then you don't want floats at all. The usual example is dealing with money and to store 'cents' as an integer.