Did you know that formulas are written differently depending on where in the world you’re located? For example, the syntax in the US is different to that in Italy.
This post explores the syntax differences that occur based on your Google Sheets location, i.e. the location you’re working in, assuming your Google settings match (which they would by default).
If you’ve ever copied a template but been unable to get it working, or simply not understood a formula, then it’s possible you’ve run into this syntax issue due to Google Sheets location.
This handy guide will show you the differences and hopefully help you translate seamlessly when sharing Sheets in different locations.
For the most of the world, aside from Europe, you write decimals with a decimal point notation (for example $2.50) and your formulas will use commas to separate the different parts.
I’m currently based in the US, my Google account is set to a US location, so all the articles and template downloads on this site use this notation. (Incidentally, I’m from the UK originally, but since they use the same decimal notation there, formulas in my Google Sheets are the same regardless.)
For countries using decimal comma separators (for example €2,50), which is most of the European countries and a select few others, the syntax for formulas is slightly different, as explained below.
So, ask yourself now where you’re based and how you write your decimal numbers, and then see the different sections below for guidance on how your formulas are written.
This tutorial will help take you from an absolute beginner, or basic user, of Google Sheets through to a confident, competent, intermediate-level user.
Google Sheets is a hugely powerful tool, for everything from digital marketing to finance modeling, from project management to statistical analysis, in fact, just about any activity involving the recording and analysis of data.
And if you’re (relatively) new, it really pays dividends to learn how to use Google Sheets correctly. This tutorial will help you transition from newbie to ninja in short order!
If you’re new to Google Sheets, then I recommend you start from the beginning of this article.
However, if you’ve used Sheets before, feel free to skip sections 1 and 2, and begin with the Data and basic formulas section.
A template is available for copying to your Drive, to accompany this tutorial: