Number Truncation in JavaScript

CodeTidbit by SamanthaMing.com

Use Math.trunc() to truncate a floating point number and return its integer part. This function doesn't do any rounding, it simply removes all the digits following the decimal. Now you have a whole number, yay 🎊

const number = 80.6
// Old Way
number < 0 ? Math.ceil(number) : Math.floor(number);
// 80
// ✅ES6 Way
const es6 = Math.trunc(number);
// 80

Example

Math.trunc() simply truncates (cuts off) the dots and the digits to the right of it. No matter whether the argument is a positive or negative number.

Math.trunc(80.9); // 80
Math.trunc(80.8); // 80
Math.trunc(80.8); // 80
Math.trunc(80.6); // 80
Math.trunc(80.5); // 80
Math.trunc(80.4); // 80
Math.trunc(80.3); // 80
Math.trunc(80.2); // 80
Math.trunc(80.1); // 80
Math.trunc(-80.1); // -80

Now let’s see some examples with non-number arguments:

Math.trunc('80.1'); // 80
Math.trunc('hello'); // NaN
Math.trunc(NaN); // NaN
Math.trunc(undefined); // NaN
Math.trunc(); // NaN

Number truncation using parseInt

You can get a similar result using parseInt

parseInt(80.1); // 80
parseInt(-80.1); // -80
parseInt('80.1'); // 80
parseInt('hello'); // NaN
parseInt(undefined); // NaN
parseInt(); // NaN

Math.trunc() vs parseInt()

parseInt is mainly used for a string argument. So if you're dealing with numbers, it's way better to use Math.trunc().

If you’re curious, I wrote up a performance test comparing these two functions.

jsPerf: Math.trunc vs parseInt

The gotcha with parseInt

There’s a potential issue when using parseInt. When you pass in an argument that's not a string, in our case a number, it will first convert the value to a string using the toString() abstract operation. Most of the time, parseInt is fine. But let's look at an example where it might not be.

const number = 1000000000000000000000.5;
const result = parseInt(number);
console.log(result); // 1 <-- 😱

☝️So why did this happen?? That’s because our argument is not a string, so the first thing parseInt does is it will convert the argument into a string.

const number = 1000000000000000000000.5;
const result = number.toString();
console.log(result); // "1e+21"

So when it tried to grab the integer from 1e+21, it just knows to grab the 1 value. So, using parseInt definitely has its gotcha. Because of this edge case, you might want to consider using the Math functions 👍

Browser Support

Most modern browsers support Math.trunc(). EXCEPT, Internet Explorer. I know 😞 So if you need support for older browsers, use the old way 😕

Browser Support: Math.trunc


Community Input

Bitwise Operator Solutions

Double Bitwise NOT ~~

console.log(~~80.6); // 80

Thanks: @Jorgert120

Bitwise OR |

console.log(80.6 | 0); // 80

Thanks: @mac_experts

Resources

MDN Web Docs: Math.trunc
 MDN Web Docs: parseInt
 MDN Web Docs: Bitwise operators
 JS Tip: Use parseInt for strings, NOT for numbers
 2ality: parseInt doesn’t always correctly convert to integer

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Thanks for reading ❤

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