International Issues

It looks like I get to be the first guest speaker to blog here, so thanks to Dick for opening up his Daily Dose.

When we write code, we can generally trust that it will work just as well on our users’ computers as on our own. Given the same source data, bugs are generally reproducible. Unfortunately, that is not the case if our users are overseas.

With a little care and foresight, it is possible (and quite easy) to write VBA code that will work wherever it’s used, with any choice of Windows or Excel UI language and any combination of Regional Settings (such as the date order and the characters used for the thousands, decimal and list separators).

I wrote a chapter about this in John Green’s “Excel 2002 VBA Programmer’s Reference” and Wrox Press have recently agreed for me to include it on my web site. I urge you to read the chapter and incorporate its recommendations into your standard coding habits.

You can read the chapter at


Stephen Bullen

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6 thoughts on “International Issues

  1. Yes, international users are a challenge. As are international programmers.

    I’m writing al Excel app with lots of VBA a under Spanish XL2003 running on English Windows XP. I cross check on XL 2000 (English language Windows XP & XL) for compatability.

    Actually, the application is used primarily by someone in Italy (on Italian Windows XP running Spanish Office 2003) but they share their results & reports with yet another person, in Spain (Spanish XL2002 & XP). Yikes!
    Yes, there is the *occasional* tweak needed to handle the variations.

    In summary…I appreciate the link. It’ll save me a few headaches – no doubt.

  2. Thanks Stephen, i’ll go a print that out right away… is it me, or has the standard of post around here just gone up, lol ;)… very good idea this Dick, well done!

  3. Do indeed print it out! !

    It is that chapter in John GreenĂ­s great book that I keep returning to every time I do something serious in Excel VBA.


  4. Ross – No, but that’s (partly) intentional. The publisher explained that pre-xmas is a *really* bad time for publishing technical books, as the bookstores tend to fill their shelves with ‘present’ books, not technical ones. It also gave us a few more months to get it written !

Posting code? Use <pre> tags for VBA and <code> tags for inline.

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