How to fix the number format of an Excel file
July 13, 2006 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to stipulate that a Microsoft Excel file will always display a specific number format e.g. the Anglo-American decimal point, regardless of the local settings of the computer where it is viewed?

I am a translator and recently got a complaint from a client that I had not changed the number format for a translated text. It turned out that their computer and mine were rendering the same file differently according to our regional settings. It would be useful if a file could be set to override the regional settings.

I found an option to set the decimal and thousands separator to be different from the regional settings, but this seems to affect Excel as a whole rather than just one file.
posted by rogerh to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I believe Format->Cells->Number should do the trick; excel files save their formatting locally, so it should work just fine, even if it's viewed in Afghanistan.
posted by tnoetz01 at 7:50 AM on July 13, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, but the cell format menu appears to let me change only the number of decimal places, not the format of the decimal separator itself.

I started thinking about including a macro with the file that would change the regional setting on load and then reset it on closing but I don't know whether clients would tolerate that (or how to write it).
posted by rogerh at 8:04 AM on July 13, 2006

My guess is the answer is no, since the choice of separator is dictated either by system settings or via Number Handling in the International tab in Excel options, and these settings do not travel with the file when sent elsewhere.
posted by beagle at 10:09 AM on July 13, 2006

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