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Formatting Currency

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Formatting Currency.

Eric asked if there was a way to easily format cells so what would normally appear as $10,000.00 would appear as $10.000,00. This format being described is the difference between the US method of displaying figures (using commas as thousand separators and a period as a decimal sign) and the European method of displaying figures (using periods as thousand separators and a comma as a decimal sign).

There are three ways you can accomplish a switch. The easiest method is to simply change the Regional Settings in Windows. The exact way you do this depends on the version of Windows you are using, but in general there is a choice in the Windows Control Panel that allows you to specify regional settings. All you need to do is modify those settings to match the numeric display format desired. The change will affect not only the display of numbers in Excel, but in other Windows-compliant programs, as well.

The second method is to use a formula to handle the numeric display. This has the drawback of converting the numeric value to text, but it could be easily done. For instance, let's assume that you have the formatted numeric value $10,000.00 in cell A1. The following formula, in a different cell, would display the text $10.000,00:


This formula first converts the number to an initial currency format in text. Then the SUBSTITUTE function is used to first change "." to "^" ("^" is used as a temporary placeholder), and then change "," to ".", and finally "^" to ",".

The final method has the advantage of leaving your numbers as numbers, instead relying on a custom format. All you need to do is to multiply your values by 100 and then use the following custom format:


The format allows any number up to 9.999.999,00 to be used. If you deal with numbers that have more than two decimal places, you will need to adjust your custom format accordingly, or adjust the value being displayed so that it has nothing to the right of the decimal point after it is multiplied by 100.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1935) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Formatting Currency.

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Comments for this tip:

Teresa    12 Oct 2015, 10:18
I have a question. If I created a quote in excel with my currency setting as

1,000.00 why does it open on windows 8.1
as 1,000,00. In South Africa we do not use a come between our Rands and cents we use a . (full stop).

I would like to change the setting on windows 8.1 to match my earlier version.


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