Excel Tutorial: How To Change Currency In Excel


When working with financial data in Excel, it is crucial to change the currency format to accurately reflect the monetary values. Whether you are dealing with different currencies or simply need to present the numbers in a specific format, knowing how to change the currency in Excel is an essential skill. In this tutorial, we will provide an overview of the steps involved in changing the currency in Excel, empowering you to effectively manage and present your financial data.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the importance of changing currency format in Excel is crucial for accurately reflecting monetary values.
  • Knowing the default currency format in Excel and how to customize it empowers effective management and presentation of financial data.
  • Utilizing Excel's built-in currency conversion feature and formatting currency for international use are valuable skills for diverse financial tasks.
  • Troubleshooting currency formatting issues and preventing errors in the future are essential for maintaining data accuracy and consistency.
  • Practicing and experimenting with currency formatting in Excel is encouraged to solidify the skills learned in this tutorial.

Understanding the Excel currency format

When working with financial data in Excel, it's important to understand how the program handles currency formatting. Excel provides a variety of tools for working with currency, making it easy to display and manipulate financial information.

A. Explanation of how Excel handles currency formatting

In Excel, currency formatting is handled through the use of special number formats. These formats allow you to display currency symbols, decimal places, and thousands separators in a way that is easy to read and understand.

B. Overview of the default currency format in Excel

By default, Excel uses the currency format that is specified in your computer's regional settings. This means that the currency symbol and decimal and thousands separators will be based on the settings for your location.

C. Examples of different currency symbols used in Excel

Excel supports a wide variety of currency symbols, allowing you to display financial information in the currency of your choice. Some examples of currency symbols that can be used in Excel include the dollar sign ($), the euro symbol (€), the pound sterling sign (£), and the Japanese yen sign (¥).

Changing the currency format in Excel

Excel provides users with the ability to customize the currency format to suit their specific needs. Whether you need to change the currency symbol, format multiple cells at once, or customize the currency format, these steps will guide you through the process.

Step-by-step guide on how to change the currency symbol

  • Select the cells: Start by selecting the cells that you want to change the currency symbol for.
  • Go to the "Number" group: In the Home tab, locate the "Number" group, and click on the drop-down arrow next to the "Number Format" box.
  • Select "Currency": From the drop-down menu, select "Currency" to apply the default currency format to the selected cells.
  • Customize the currency symbol: If you want to change the currency symbol, click on the drop-down arrow next to the "Currency" box in the Number group, and select the desired currency symbol from the list.

Tips for changing the currency format for multiple cells at once

  • Use the Format Cells dialog box: Select the cells you want to format, right-click, and choose "Format Cells." In the Number tab, select "Currency" and customize the format as needed.
  • Use the Format Painter: Once you have formatted a cell with the desired currency format, you can use the Format Painter tool to quickly apply the same format to other cells.

How to customize the currency format to include decimals or other symbols

  • Adjusting decimal places: To customize the number of decimal places displayed for the currency format, use the "Increase Decimal" or "Decrease Decimal" buttons in the Number group.
  • Custom currency symbol: If you want to use a custom currency symbol, you can do so by selecting "More Number Formats" from the drop-down menu in the Number group and entering the desired currency symbol in the "Symbol" field.
  • Save custom format as a new style: If you frequently use a specific custom currency format, you can save it as a new cell style for easy access in the future.

Using currency conversion in Excel

Excel offers a built-in currency conversion feature that allows users to easily convert one currency into another within their spreadsheets. This can be incredibly useful for individuals and businesses who work with different currencies on a regular basis.

How to use Excel's built-in currency conversion feature

  • Step 1: Open your Excel spreadsheet and navigate to the cell where you want the converted currency to appear.
  • Step 2: Enter the formula =A1*GOOGLEFINANCE("CURRENCY:USDGBP"), replacing "A1" with the cell containing the amount you want to convert, and "USDGBP" with the currency pair you want to convert from and to.
  • Step 3: Press Enter, and Excel will automatically fetch the current exchange rate and convert the amount for you.

Tips for updating currency rates in Excel

  • Tip 1: You can use the GOOGLEFINANCE function to automatically update currency rates in Excel. Simply use the formula =GOOGLEFINANCE("CURRENCY:USDGBP") to fetch the most recent exchange rate.
  • Tip 2: Consider using a specific currency conversion add-in or API to ensure you are getting the most accurate and up-to-date rates.

Examples of how currency conversion can be useful in Excel

  • Example 1: An international business can use Excel's currency conversion feature to quickly and accurately calculate expenses and revenue in their home currency.
  • Example 2: Individuals who travel frequently can utilize currency conversion in Excel to track their expenses in various currencies and easily see the total in their home currency.

Formatting currency for international use

When working with Excel spreadsheets that will be shared with international audiences, it's important to format currency in a way that is clear and easily understandable regardless of the user's location. Here are some best practices for handling currency in Excel for international use:

A. Best practices for formatting currency for international audiences
  • Use a consistent format: When working with multiple currencies, it's important to use a consistent format throughout the spreadsheet to avoid confusion.
  • Include currency symbols: Including currency symbols alongside the numeric values can help users quickly identify the type of currency being used.
  • Consider decimal placement: Different countries have different conventions for decimal placement in currency. Be mindful of this when formatting currency values.

B. How to handle currency symbols in different languages
  • Use the currency format function: Excel's currency format function can automatically apply the appropriate currency symbol based on the user's location settings.
  • Manually input currency symbols: If the automatic formatting doesn't fit your needs, you can manually input the currency symbols for each value.

C. Tips for addressing currency format differences across countries
  • Use custom number formatting: Excel allows for custom number formatting, which can be used to address specific currency format differences across countries.
  • Consult international standards: Refer to international accounting and financial reporting standards to ensure your currency formatting aligns with global best practices.

Troubleshooting currency formatting issues

When working with Excel, you may encounter issues with currency formatting that can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix. In this chapter, we will explore common problems with currency formatting, provide solutions for resolving these errors, and offer tips on preventing currency format issues in the future.

Common problems with currency formatting in Excel

  • Displaying the wrong currency symbol: One common issue is when the wrong currency symbol appears in the cells, even though you have formatted them correctly.
  • Incorrect decimal placement: Another problem is when the decimal point is not placed where it should be, leading to inaccurate currency values.
  • Displaying currency as text: Sometimes, Excel may treat currency values as text, which can prevent you from using them in calculations or applying currency formatting.

Solutions for resolving currency format errors

  • Check regional settings: Ensure that your computer's regional settings are correct and aligned with the desired currency format.
  • Use the Format Cells dialogue: Access the Format Cells dialogue by right-clicking on the cell, selecting "Format Cells," and choosing the desired currency format under the "Number" tab.
  • Convert text to numbers: If Excel is treating currency values as text, use the VALUE function or Text to Columns feature to convert them to numerical format.

How to prevent currency format issues in the future

  • Standardize data entry: Encourage consistent data entry practices to ensure that currency values are entered and formatted correctly from the start.
  • Regularly review and update regional settings: Verify that regional settings are accurate and up to date, especially if you work with multiple currencies.
  • Utilize custom number formats: Consider creating custom number formats to tailor currency formatting to your specific preferences and requirements.


Recap: Changing currency in Excel is crucial for accurate financial reporting and analysis. It helps to present data in a clear and understandable format for users.

Summary: In this tutorial, we learned how to change currency in Excel using the Format Cells dialog box, custom number formats, and Excel's built-in currency formatting options. We also explored how to apply currency formatting to multiple cells at once and how to format negative numbers in red.

Encouragement: I encourage you to continue practicing and experimenting with currency formatting in Excel. The more you explore and familiarize yourself with these techniques, the more confident and proficient you will become in managing currency data effectively in your spreadsheets.

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