The humble comma

I am a big fan and user of Ubuntu. I started with 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) and have graduated to 12.04, the long term support (LTS) version, Precise Pangolin. The journey from F to P has been fun and I love Ubuntu.

However, I live in world of gates and windows (metaphorically atleast!) so need to use microsoft excel for budgeting spreadsheets. And it bugged me no end that the numbers in excel are in millions by default. I googled changing default to lakhs and crores and came up with a few answers. Nowhere near as many as the Ubuntu forums will give you, but then that just proves the worth of FOSS (free and open source software, for those who don’t speak it yet).

So this is what I did to finally get my comma separators in the right place.

1. Go to Control Panel (I have an ancient version of windows, so you’ll have to get this far on your own). Click on Regional & Language Options

control panel12. Now in the Regional & Language Settings, click the drop down option and look for India – you won’t find it (atleast in my version of windows). Not in the ‘english’ section or in the ‘I’s.

control panel 33. I chose English (united kingdom). Don’t think it matter much. Click on Customize (on the right). That open another window.

control panel44. In the Numbers tab, click on the dropdown option for ‘Digit Grouping’ – you get three options and yipee, there is one for LAKHS and CRORES with the comma separators in the right places! Select that option and click OK

5. Open excel, and woohoo, all the numbers are in Lakhs and Crores.

A lakh is 5 zeros 1,00,000 and a crore is 7 – 1,00,00,000 and the comma’s make all the difference!

In Ubuntu, its just one step to do – right click, format cell and custom format. Still, I thought the world of gates and windows could do with some sharing and less fences and walls!

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Comments on: "The humble comma" (2)

  1. Nice one! Thanks for sharing. I’m very sorry that you must have windows partitioning your open (software) beliefs.

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