# bc: set number of digits after decimal point

`bc` handles numbers as integers:

``````# echo "100/3" | bc
33
``````

`bc -l` handles numbers as floating point objects:

``````# echo "100/3" | bc -l
33.33333333333333333333
``````

Is there a way to limit the number of digits after the decimal point?

Set the `scale` special variable:

``````\$ echo "scale=2; 100/3" | bc
33.33
``````

`scale` works only for division; if some geeks need it in multiplication, then you can do achieve this by using string manipulation.
Say if you need to multiply `32 * 0.60` , answer is `19.20`. If you need to get it 19 alone in answer you can get it by different methods.

1. Using String Manipulation

``````\$ S=\$(echo "32*.60" | bc ) ; echo \${S%.*}
19
``````

String Manipulation syntax: `\${Variable%pattern}`, this will delete short matching pattern that comes after `%`. For more String manipulation details see the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide.

2. Using `Scale` as stated by `**chronitis**`

``````\$ echo "scale=0; 32*60/100" | bc
19
``````
3. To get rid of the trailing 0s, instead of string manipulation, one can also do a divide by 1.

``````\$ echo "0.232 * 1000" | bc
232.000

\$ echo "0.232 * 1000 / 1" | bc
232
``````

``````echo "scale=2; 1.0150876" | bc
``````

Returns

``````1.0150876
``````

Add Math operations to get only 2 decimal numbers – (NUMBER*100)/100

``````echo "scale=2; (1.0150876 * 100) / 100" | bc
``````

Now returns

``````1.01
``````

Round-off

scale=2 truncates the answer to two decimal digits, but we can achieve round-off like so:

``````\$ echo "a=12/104; scale=2; (a+0.005)/1" | bc -l
.12
``````

you can also use printf command to round off result upto 3 decimals

``````# printf "%.3fn" \$(echo "100/3" | bc -l)
3.333
``````