This guide covers everything you need to know about the Google Sheets CEILING function, including its definition, syntax, use cases, and how to use it.

## What is the CEILING Function? How Does It Work?

The CEILING function in Google Sheets returns a number rounded up to the nearest integer multiple of a specified factor. It is a mathematical operation that helps users handle numbers in a way that aligns with mathematical or financial principles.

The purpose of the CEILING function is to round up numbers based on a set significance. For example, if you have the number 23.25 and you want to round it up to the nearest tenth, the CEILING function can help you achieve this. When you input CEILING(23.25, 0.1), it will return 23.3.

The function works by considering the value that needs to be rounded up and the significance or factor, the number to whose multiples the value will be rounded. The factor is optional and is set to 1 by default. However, it’s important to note that the factor may not be equal to 0.

The value and factor should both be positive when the value is positive. However, when the value is negative, the factor can be negative or positive to determine which direction to round.

The CEILING function is most often used with the factor set to a ’round’ number, such as 0.1 or 0.01, in order to round a value to a particular decimal place. This makes the function versatile and adaptable to different needs, whether for budgeting, data analysis, or other number-based tasks.

## CEILING Syntax

The syntax and arguments for the function are as follows:

**CEILING(value, [factor])**

Here, ‘value’ and ‘factor’ represent the two arguments for the CEILING function.

**‘value’**– This argument represents the number that you want to round up to the nearest integer multiple of the ‘factor’. It is a required argument, meaning you must provide a value for it when using the CEILING function.**‘factor’**– This argument is optional and has a default value of 1. It represents the number to whose multiples the ‘value’ will be rounded. If you provide a ‘factor’, it should not be equal to 0.

There are some important usage notes to consider when using these arguments:

- When the ‘value’ argument is a positive number, the ‘factor’ argument must also be a positive number.
- When the ‘value’ argument is a negative number, the ‘factor’ argument can be either negative or positive. This will determine the direction of the rounding.
- The CEILING function is most commonly used with the ‘factor’ argument set to a “round” number, such as 0.1 or 0.01. This allows you to round the ‘value’ argument to a specific decimal place.

## Examples of How to Use the CEILING Function

Here are some practical examples of how to use the CEILING function in Google Sheets.

### Example #1: Rounding up to the nearest whole number

Let’s say you have a cell (A1) that contains the number 4.6, and you want to round it up to the nearest whole number. You can use the CEILING function to do this. The formula you would use is:

=CEILING(A1, 1)

The result of this formula would be 5.

### Example #2: Rounding up to the nearest 10

Suppose you have a cell (B1) that contains the number 36, and you want to round it up to the nearest 10. The CEILING function can help you achieve this. The formula you would use is:

=CEILING(B1, 10)

The result of this formula would be 40.

### Example #3: Rounding up to the nearest 0.5

If you have a cell (C1) containing the number 2.3 and want to round it up to the nearest 0.5, you can use the CEILING function. The formula you would use is:

=CEILING(C1, 0.5)

The result of this formula would be 2.5.

### Example #4: Rounding up negative numbers

The CEILING function can also round up negative numbers. For instance, if you have a cell (D1) containing the number -4.6 and want to round it up (towards zero), you can use the CEILING function. The formula you would use is:

=CEILING(D1, 1)

The result of this formula would be -4.

## CEILING: Common Mistakes & Problems

When using the CEILING function in Google Sheets, it’s important to avoid the following common mistakes and problems:

**Providing non-numeric values**: The CEILING function works with numeric values. If you provide a text string or a boolean value (TRUE or FALSE), Google Sheets will return a #VALUE! error. Always ensure that the number you want to round up is a number.**Incorrect argument order**: The syntax of the CEILING function is CEILING(number, significance). You’ll get incorrect results if you switch the order of these two arguments. The first argument should always be the number you want to round up, and the second argument should be the multiple to which you want to round up.**Forgetting the significance argument**: If you don’t provide a significance argument, Google Sheets will assume it to be 1. This may give you unexpected results if you intend to round up to a different multiple.**Providing zero as the significance:**If you provide zero as the significance, Google Sheets will return a #DIV/0! error. The significance (the multiple to which you want to round up) should always be a non-zero number.**Negative significance with a positive number or positive significance with a negative number**: If you use a negative significance with a positive number or a positive significance with a negative number, the CEILING function will return incorrect results. Always ensure that the number and significance have the same sign.**Using decimal values in the significance**: If you use decimal values in the significance, the CEILING function might return results that are not exact multiples of the significance. This is because the function rounds up to the nearest integer multiple of the significance. If you want to round up to the nearest decimal multiple, consider using the CEILING.PRECISE function instead.**Not using absolute references with the significance in multiple cells**: If you’re applying the CEILING function to a range of cells with the same significance, make sure to use absolute references for the significance. If you don’t, Google Sheets will treat the significance as a relative reference and may pull in different values as you drag the formula down.

## Why Is CEILING Not Working? Troubleshooting Common Errors

If you are trying to use the CEILING function in Google Sheets and encounter issues, you might be dealing with one of the following common errors. Understanding these errors and their solutions can help you fix the problem and use the CEILING function more effectively.

### #VALUE! Error

**Cause**: This error usually occurs when the inputs given to the CEILING function are not numerical values. Google Sheets CEILING function only accepts numeric values and if it receives a text or a string, it will return the #VALUE! error.

**Solution**: Ensure all the inputs given to the CEILING function are numeric values. Check the cells referenced in your CEILING function and ensure they contain numbers, not text or strings.

### #N/A Error

**Cause**: The #N/A error typically appears when the CEILING function references a cell or a range of cells that do not exist or are unavailable. This might happen if you’ve deleted a row or column that was previously referenced in your formula.

**Solution**: Update your formula to reference valid cells that exist in your spreadsheet. Verify the cells referenced in your CEILING function and ensure they are available and contain valid data.

### #DIV/0! Error

**Cause**: The #DIV/0! error appears when you’re trying to divide a number by zero within the CEILING function. In mathematics, division by zero is undefined, and so Google Sheets will return this error.

**Solution**: Make sure that your formula doesn’t result in division by zero. Check the divisor in your formula and ensure it’s not zero.

### #REF! Error

**Cause**: The #REF! error is displayed when the cell referenced in your CEILING function has been deleted. Since the reference no longer exists, Google Sheets can’t perform the calculation and returns this error.

**Solution**: To fix this, update your formula to reference an existing cell. Double-check the cells referenced in your CEILING function and ensure they are available and contain valid data.

### #NUM! Error

**Cause**: The #NUM! error typically appears when the number to be rounded (in the CEILING function) is too large or too small for Google Sheets to handle.

**Solution**: Ensure that the numbers you’re using in your CEILING function are within the limits that Google Sheets can handle. If the numbers are too large or too small, consider using smaller numbers or dividing them to bring it within a manageable range for Google Sheets.

By understanding these common errors and their solutions, you can troubleshoot and fix issues you encounter using the CEILING function in Google Sheets.

## Using CEILING With Other Google Sheets Functions

Combining the CEILING function with other Google Sheets functions can create powerful and complex formulas to help you analyze and manage your data more effectively. Here are a few examples of how you can use the CEILING function with other Google Sheets functions:

### With SUM

**Usage**: You can use the CEILING function with the SUM function to round up the total of a range of cells to the nearest specified factor.

**Example**: Suppose you have a range of cells (A1:A5) with the values 10.2, 15.7, 20.5, 25.4, and 30.1. You want to find the sum of these values and round up the total to the nearest 10. You can use the formula =CEILING(SUM(A1:A5), 10). The SUM function calculates the total of the range (102.9), and the CEILING function rounds this value up to the nearest 10, giving a result of 110.

### With AVERAGE

**Usage**: You can use the CEILING function with the AVERAGE function to round up the average of a range of cells to the nearest specified factor.

**Example**: Suppose you have a range of cells (B1:B5) with the values 10.2, 15.7, 20.5, 25.4, and 30.1. You want to find the average of these values and round up the result to the nearest 5. You can use the formula =CEILING(AVERAGE(B1:B5), 5). The AVERAGE function calculates the range average (20.38), and the CEILING function rounds this value up to the nearest 5, giving a result of 25.

### With PRODUCT

**Usage**: You can use the CEILING function with the PRODUCT function to round up the product of a range of cells to the nearest specified factor.

**Example**: Suppose you have two cells (C1 and C2) with the values 6.5 and 7.5. You want to multiply these values and round up the result to the nearest 5. You can use the formula =CEILING(PRODUCT(C1:C2), 5). The PRODUCT function multiplies the values (48.75), and the CEILING function rounds this value up to the nearest 5, giving a result of 50.

For more details on the CEILING function, check out the official documentation at the Google Docs Editors Help Center.