Explaining syntax differences in your formulas due to your Google Sheets location

Did you know that formulas are written differently in the US versus Italy? (And that’s just one example.)

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).

Formula syntax based on Google Sheets location
What wizardry is this? Either this format will look utterly normal to you, or it won’t.

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.

How to change Google Sheets location

Before getting to the nitty-gritty of formula syntax, let’s first see where we set the location.
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How to use the Google Sheets Filter function: a guide to get you started right now

The Google Sheets FILTER function is a powerful function we can use to, well, filter our data.

Filter function in Google Sheets

Suppose we want to retrieve all values above a certain threshold? Or values that were greater than average? Or all even, or odd, values?
Continue reading How to use the Google Sheets Filter function: a guide to get you started right now

How to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide

How to use Google SheetsHow to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide

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:

Want a copy of the template from this tutorial?
Click here >>

In addition, various advanced resources are listed for you to take things a step further. Look for this logo: Advanced Resource

Contents

Continue reading How to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide

Introducing Advanced Formulas 30 Day Challenge – My new, free Google Sheets Course

I’ve just launched Advanced Formulas 30 Day Challenge, my latest course.

Advanced Formulas 30 Day Challenge

It’s 30 bite-size tutorials, each focusing on an advanced formula or technique.

If you feel like your spreadsheet knowledge has plateaued after the VLOOKUP, then this is the course for you. You’ll learn everything from classics like the INDEX-MATCH through to more exotic advanced formulas like SUMPRODUCT or MMULT.

Best of all, it’s free! That’s right, this one’s on the house. 😀

Start today, and up your spreadsheet game over the next 30 days.

Check out Advanced Formulas 30 Day Challenge here.

Running Total Array Formulas (using the MMULT function)

In this post we’ll look at how to calculate a running total, using a standard method and an array formula method. We’ll cover the topic of matrix multiplication (take a deep breath, it’s going to be ok!) using the MMULT formula, one of the more exotic, and challenging formulas in Google Sheets.

If you like video tutorials, here’s the one on MMULT:

This is a lesson from my latest, Google Sheets course on Advanced Formulas 30 Day Challenge (it’s free!).

Continue reading Running Total Array Formulas (using the MMULT function)