Microsoft Excel X and Panther

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 7th, 2003 • 12:16 am

I’ve been experiencing problems in Excel X since upgrading to Panther. The problems have to do with number formats.

My default date and number formats for Mac OS X, as defined in the “International” control pane in System Preferences, are “French Canadian”, which means, for example, that my decimal separator is a comma (,) and not a period (.) and that my thousands separator is a space character rather than a comma.

The trouble is that Excel doesn’t seem to recognize these default settings. It used to recognize them in Jaguar. Since I’ve upgraded to Panther, however, Excel has reverted to the default number format, i.e. the U.S. format with the period as decimal separator.

I’ve managed to work around the problem by creating a customized number format in the “International” control pane in System Preferences (based on the French Canadian format, but with a few changes). This seems to have done the trick, and now Excel uses the comma as the decimal separator again.

Of course, Microsoft makes no mention of this on their web site. The Mactopia home page claims to have a link to information about Panther compatibility, but if you click on that link it just takes you to the Mac Office home page, and there is no mention of Panther on that page.

I didn’t find anything about this particular problem in the Microsoft Mac Office newsgroup either.

I suppose we should just be grateful that, on the whole, Office applications run fine in Panther. Because it doesn’t sound like Office X will be updated again until the next major upgrade hits the streets.

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