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Here is my issue :

  • We work in English
  • We are a French company : we want Euro as default currency...
  • ... and the "French formatting" for dates (dd/mm/yyyy) and numbers (1 thousand = 1 000,00 ; not 1,000.00).
.. Which is by the way, the standard in continental Europe if I am correct.

I cannot get the default language and country to work correctly :

  • I set defaults that should work (language = English, country = whatever country in continental Europe) in : myaccount / language (as found on Google support page)
  • ... But when I create a new Spreadsheet (from Drive > new spreadsheet) it is created as "locale = UK" (hence currency is £/GBP, I want Euro). And this is for every country in continental Europe... 
The only country that is not switched to UK is Ireland, but the numbers formatting is not what I want (problem with comas ",").

This matters because as comas are not used similarly, it is "a small pain every time we copy/paste figures", same with dates. Hence we change every single new document's locale. 1 min on almost every new Spreadsheet to understand why your formulas don't work and manually correct, this is irritating!


For references, I have looked at these webapps.stackexchange questions that seem close but do not address this specific problem:


And also for the reference, a similar question on support.google.com/docs/:

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  • Have you considered using a script to create new Spreadsheets create(name). This would enable you to specific the locale as, say, France yet leave the language as English.
    – Tedinoz
    Jun 16 at 4:59
  • @Tedinoz good idea. I haven't since my target behaviour is for 80% non-coding people (=> use the button "new spreadsheet" in GDrive or "file/new spreadsheet" in G Spreadsheet). I am not sure using a script wouldn't be complicated regarding what I was looking to achieve (get the parameter : language + country to work !) :) Jun 17 at 9:07
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    I've been doing my own testing and research. There are LOTS of people that have the same problem that you describe, and there appears to be no work around. I'm not aware if anyone has logged a feature request/bug - that's always an option.
    – Tedinoz
    Jun 18 at 4:48
  • Oh great! Thanks to your nudge, I went looking further and actually found a useful link on the topic on support.google.com (just added at the bottom of my question). Jun 19 at 17:45
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    FWIW, I thought for a while that setting my account language as English (Malta) might be a good option since Malta uses the eu decimal and currency formatting. BUT…. The countries/regions that are selectable for a spreadsheet are only a subset of those that are selectable for the Account language. As you might guess, Malta isn’t recognised by Google Sheet locale. :(
    – Tedinoz
    Jun 20 at 2:33
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It looks that you did a great research job. So far don't know if there is a locale having the settings that you want, so here are some workarounds:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with the desired settings, share it with your co-workers as viewers and instruct them to make a copy of this spreadsheet to avoid having to manually set the spreadsheet settings.

  2. Publish the above spreadsheet as a template. If you are using Google Workspace account you my publish your template in the organization template gallery.

  3. Use a Google Workspace Editor add-on for Google Sheets that make it easier to apply the desired settings. If you are using a Google Workspace accounts you might might create a internal add-on by using Google Apps Script without having to request a OAuth review by Google.

  4. Make a script using Google Apps Scripts to set the desired settings. You could create a library to make easier to maintain the core script and include on each spreadsheet a small script to call the corresponding function(s) from the library.

Some clarifications:

  • You could set the Google account language to French or any other language that you want and your spreadsheet settings to use any locale.
  • When using an account different other than English each user could set Google Sheets to show functions in English. This setting is by user, not by spreadsheet, meaning that for the same spreadsheet one user could see functions in French and another in English.
  • If you will use Google Apps Script to add or modify formulas, the script should use English function names.
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  • Thanks @Ruben. Can't say it is a perfect solution, but does provide useful workarounds! Jun 21 at 18:27

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