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  Excel - How to...


Foxes Team


Many people are confused by Excel documentation showing formulas with different characters separator

Samtime they see formulas with ","  (comma) and sometime with ";".(semicolon)  Where is the wrong?

There is no error. Let's see why.

How to change the character of the argument separator


The character separator of the Excel formula change with the internation setting of your Windows installation (may be strange it would be sound)

For example, if your are in Italy the AVERAGE Excel formula  looks like the following


=MEDIA(B3 ; B4 ; B5 ; B6)


On the contrary, if you are in USA the same formula appears as the following


=AVERAGE(B3 , B4 , B5 , B6)


Apart the traduction that contributes a lot of mesh, we note also that the separator character is different: it is ";" for Italy and "," for USA.

We do not know why.... (We should ask it to Microsoft...).

But we can change, if we like, all those useless (and confusing) standard


Open the Window Setting panel 


Click on the International Setting



The following pop-up will appear. Click the personalization button




From this panel we can change all standard of our system. We must know that these changes affetc all the Microsoft Office applications: Excel, Word, Outlook, etc.

but do not affect any other program


The first character is for decimal separator "," instead of "."


The 3rd  character is for digits groupping separator "." instead of ","


The 8th charcter is the list separator, that affect also the argument separator symbol of the Excel formulas.