This guide covers everything you need to know about the Google Sheets CEILING.PRECISE function, including its definition, syntax, use cases, and how to use it.
What is the CEILING.PRECISE Function? How Does It Work?
The CEILING.PRECISE function returns a number that is rounded up to the nearest integer or multiple of a specific significance. The unique aspect of this function is that it operates the same way for both positive and negative numbers. It doesn’t discriminate based on the number’s sign – the function will always round up.
The purpose of the CEILING.PRECISE function is to provide a precise way to round up numbers. This is particularly useful in scenarios where you need to ensure that the value you’re working with is never less than the specified number or multiple.
For instance, in financial calculations like profit projections or budgeting, using the CEILING.PRECISE function can be quite handy. It provides an easy way to round up all numbers, thus ensuring that you’ve accounted for all possible expenses or revenues and aren’t underestimating the total.
The function works by examining the number you’ve provided (the ‘number’ argument) and the significance you’ve specified (the ‘significance’ argument). It then rounds up the ‘number’ to the nearest integer or, if ‘significance’ is specified, the nearest multiple of ‘significance’.
Whether the ‘number’ argument is positive or negative doesn’t affect how the CEILING.PRECISE function operates. It will always round up. For example, if you use CEILING.PRECISE with a number argument of 4.5, it would return 4, not 5.
In summary, the CEILING.PRECISE function is a specialized rounding function available in Google Sheets. It is designed to reliably round up numbers to the nearest integer or a specified multiple, regardless of whether the inputted number is positive or negative. This function is particularly useful in scenarios where you need to ensure that the final value is never less than the original number or its indicated multiple.
CEILING.PRECISE Syntax
The syntax and arguments for the function are as follows:
Syntax:
CEILING.PRECISE(number, [significance])
Arguments:

 number: This is the number you want to round up. It can be a positive or negative number, and it can be entered as a decimal, a fraction, or a percentage. This argument is required.
 significance: This is the multiple to which you want to round up. It can be any positive number. If you don’t specify a significance, Google Sheets will use 1 by default. This argument is optional.
Usage notes related to syntax and arguments:
 If the significance is less than 1, the function will round the number up to the nearest decimal. For example, if the significance is 0.1, 4.3 will be rounded up to 4.4.
 If the number is an exact multiple of the significance, the function will return the number as is. For example, if the number is 4 and the significance is 2, the function will return 4.
Examples of How to Use the CEILING.PRECISE Function
Here are some practical examples of how to use the CEILING.PRECISE function in Google Sheets.
Example #1: Basic Usage of CEILING.PRECISE
Let’s say we have a number, 5.4, and we want to round it up to the nearest integer. In this case, we can use the CEILING.PRECISE function as follows:
=CEILING.PRECISE(5.4)
The result will be 6 because the CEILING.PRECISE function rounds up the number to the nearest integer.
Example #2: CEILING.PRECISE with Negative Numbers
The CEILING.PRECISE function can also handle negative numbers. For instance, if we have a number 5.4 and we want to round it up, we can use the function as follows:
=CEILING.PRECISE(5.4)
The result will be 5. Despite being a negative number, the function still rounds it up to the nearest integer, which in this case is 5.
Example #3: CEILING.PRECISE with the Significance Parameter
The CEILING.PRECISE function can also take a second argument, which is the significance. The significance represents the multiple to which you want to round. For instance, if we have a number 8.3 and we want to round it up to the nearest multiple of 0.5, we can use the function as follows:
=CEILING.PRECISE(8.3, 0.5)
The result will be 8.5. The function rounds up the number 8.3 to the nearest multiple of 0.5, which is 8.5.
Example #4: CEILING.PRECISE with a Larger Significance
Let’s say we have a number, 23, and we want to round it up to the nearest multiple of 10. In this case, we can use the CEILING.PRECISE function as follows:
=CEILING.PRECISE(23, 10)
The result will be 30 because the CEILING.PRECISE function rounds up the number 23 to the nearest multiple of 10.
CEILING.PRECISE: Common Mistakes & Problems
When using the CEILING.PRECISE function in Google Sheets, you may encounter a few common mistakes and problems. Understanding these potential issues can help you troubleshoot your calculations and ensure the function is working correctly:
 Incorrect argument order: The CEILING.PRECISE function requires two arguments, the value you want to round and the factor to which you want to round. If these are entered in the wrong order, you may receive an error or incorrect results.
 Omitting the factor: If you don’t specify a factor, Google Sheets defaults to rounding up to the nearest integer. This might produce unexpected results if you intend to round to a different factor.
 Using nonnumeric values: The CEILING.PRECISE function is designed to work with numeric values. If you input text or other nonnumeric values, the function will return an error.
 Misunderstanding of negative numbers handling: The CEILING.PRECISE function rounds negative numbers away from zero. This means if you have a negative number and you want to round it to the nearest 5, for example, it will round up to the nearest negative 5. This is different from the standard CEILING function, which rounds negative numbers down.
Why Is CEILING.PRECISE Not Working? Troubleshooting Common Errors
If you are using the CEILING.PRECISE function in Google Sheets and it’s not working, there could be several reasons why this is happening. Below are some common errors, their causes, and solutions.
#VALUE! Error
Cause: The #VALUE! error generally happens when the function is unable to interpret the input data. In the context of CEILING.PRECISE, this error may occur if the arguments provided are nonnumeric or if there are more than two arguments.
Solution: Ensure that the arguments are passed to the CEILING.PRECISE function are numeric. Also, make sure that there are no more than two arguments. If any of the arguments are in a different format, convert them to numeric before using them in the function.
#NUM! Error
Cause: The #NUM! error is displayed when the function encounters invalid numeric values in its arguments. For instance, if the number argument is less than zero and the significance argument is zero, Google Sheets will display the #NUM! error.
Solution: Check the arguments passed to the CEILING.PRECISE function to ensure they are valid. The number argument should be greater than or equal to zero, and the significance argument should not be zero. If the arguments are in a different range, adjust them to meet the function’s requirements.
#DIV/0! Error
Cause: The #DIV/0! error occurs when a number is divided by zero. In the context of CEILING.PRECISE, this error can occur if the significance argument is zero.
Solution: Make sure that the significance argument is not zero. If it is, change it to a nonzero numeric value. This will ensure that your function does not attempt to divide by zero, which is mathematically undefined.
#N/A Error
Cause: The #N/A error appears when a function can’t find the value or data it is looking for. In the context of CEILING.PRECISE, this error could occur if any of the cells referenced by the function do not exist or have been deleted.
Solution: Ensure that all the cells referenced by your function exist and contain valid data. If any cells have been deleted, restore them or update your function to reference existing cells.
For more details on the CEILING.PRECISE function, check out the official documentation at the Google Docs Editors Help Center.