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I'm getting a strange error in Excel where I cannot enter formulas:


gives an error:

The formula you typed contains an error

enter image description here

I presume it has something to do with the (red herring) fact that I am in a locale that uses:

  • . for decimal point
  • , for digit grouping
  • ,, for list separation

enter image description here

How do I enter these formulas in Excel?

Update: semi-colon doesn't work:

enter image description here

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Can you try =ROUND(1.5;0)? – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Sep 9 '11 at 15:19
Try Alt+0132, because that looks like a single character, not two commas. – Excellll Sep 9 '11 at 15:22
@Mepher C. Palavuzlar: That doesn't work: "The formula you typed contains an error" – Ian Boyd Sep 9 '11 at 15:32
@Excelll: You can't use Alt+keypad codes in Excel; it interprets keypad strokes as navigation, and trues to leave the cell – Ian Boyd Sep 9 '11 at 15:32
@Ian Boyd: Keypad codes work just fine in Excel. Maybe you don't have NumLock on? – Excellll Sep 9 '11 at 17:33

Any chance you can enter the formula in a less funky locale? When I enter it with the list separator beeing "," and save, the formula is working even when I open the file with the list separator set to ,,. In that case the separator gets displayed as a blank, and when I look closer it's really a blank (Unicode 0x0020)

However, when I want to enter that in the formula as separator, I get the same error you see.

share|improve this answer
Semicolon doesn't work. Updated question with screenshot proof. – Ian Boyd Sep 9 '11 at 15:34
oops. my bad. I had the very same problem the other day, but my solution doesn't fit your problem ;-( funky. let me try in Excel. – Florenz Kley Sep 9 '11 at 15:51
The locale might be a red herring; it's the only reason i can imagine why excel is now choking on some pretty standard stuff. – Ian Boyd Sep 9 '11 at 16:01
edited the answer. I do think it's the locale, and I think that maybe the formula handling is different from cell handling. – Florenz Kley Sep 9 '11 at 16:21
just checked with a Unicode … as list separator - that works. Any chance you could use a Unicode character as list separator? Guess: while Windows tolerates a two-char list separator, Excel formulas do not. – Florenz Kley Sep 9 '11 at 16:30

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