Decimal Separator in Excel

Depending on where you are in the world, the convention for a decimal separator is usually either a point ".", or a comma ",".  This article discusses the use of decimal separators as it related to Vortarus Technologies products.

For Microsoft Excel, there are two ways to set what decimal separator is used in worksheets.

  1. Using the decimal separator from the Windows regional settings (system settings).
  2. Overriding the Windows regional settings, and specifying the decimal separator in Excel.

Overriding Windows System Setting in Excel

To set the decimal separator, click on File > Options.  In the Options window, click on "Advanced".

If the "Use system separators" box is checked, Excel will use whatever decimal separator is specified in Windows regional settings.  For example, if your location is the United States, the default is decimal point.  If your location is Germany, the default is decimal comma.

To override the system setting, uncheck "Use system separators" and enter the decimal separator in the box.  If your system setting uses decimal point, and the override is decimal comma, then numbers will appear in Excel cells using comma as the decimal.

Decimal Separator for Simulation Master and MEboost

If you are using the system separator in Excel, simply use it for everything you do. For example, if using decimal point, enter all numbers in worksheets and forms as decimal point.  Likewise, if using decimal comma, enter all numbers as decimal comma.

When overriding the system separator things are a little more complicated, but Simulation Master and MEboost can easily handle this situation.  When making calculations, numbers are calculated using the Windows separator.  Therefore, to ensure correct calculations, always enter data in forms using the system separator, and data in worksheets using the Excel override.

For example, consider the combined stress tool in MEboost shown below.  The system setting is decimal point, but the Excel override is decimal comma.  All values are entered as decimal point in the form and the results appear in decimal point form.

To be clear, shear stress is entered as negative 2 and one half.

Pasting the results to a worksheet will automatically convert from decimal point to decimal comma.

Decimal Separator for DTace

Whatever separator is used in Excel is what will be shown in the decision tree.  If using system settings, use the separator in forms as normal.

If the Excel override is used, use the system separator when entering data in forms, and the Excel override separator when entering data in worksheets.

Windows and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.  Used with permission from Microsoft.