Change the decimal point to a comma or vice versa

Excel 2013 2010
When you import data into Excel spreadsheets from Internet pages or CSV files, Excel fails to recognize some numbers and converts them to the default text type. Temporarily changing Excel settings helps to reduce the amount of manual work and the number of errors on replacing comma to point, dot to comma, semicolon to comma, etc. Also, you need to change decimal delimiter settings for printing or exporting data for international users.

If you simply need to replace comma to point, dot to comma, semicolon to comma, etc. in the Excel spreadsheet, check How to change comma to decimal point and vice versa in Excel.

The English-speaking countries like the U.S., the U.K, and Australia decimal separators are different from the European countries' decimal delimiters. The first ones use period, point, or dot as a decimal separator (17.96) and comma as a thousand groups delimiter (1,017.96). Others use comma as a decimal separator (17,96) and quotation as a thousand groups delimiter (1'017,96). By default, Excel gets separator settings from Windows, and changing the Windows settings can break other applications, but advanced Excel options allow you to override the Windows settings.

To change Excel options for decimal separators, do the following:

   1.   On the File tab, click the Options button:

Excel 2016 options

   2.   In the Excel Options dialog box, on the Advanced tab, clean the Use system separators checkbox:

Advanced Excel 2016 options

   3.   In the appropriate fields, enter symbols you need for Decimal separator and for Thousands separator.

For example:

Separators Excel 2016 options

Note: Changing dot to comma in the Decimal separator field also requires changes in the Thousands separator field. You can’t use comma for both fields.

Decimal separator settings are not specific for the current workbook and change number formats in all workbooks you open.

Example of separators Excel 2016 options

If you need to change system options, please see Change the semicolon to a comma or vice versa tip, which explains how to modify list separator in the Customize Format dialog in the system. The same dialog controls the Decimal symbol and the Digit grouping symbol settings.

See also this tip in French: Modifier le point décimal en virgule ou vice versa.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.