SDL 2015: how to handle prices in Excel files?
Thread poster: Anne-Elisabeth Schweitzer

Anne-Elisabeth Schweitzer  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
Member (2013)
Greek to French
+ ...
Feb 29, 2016

Dear all,

everytime i am uploading an excel file that contains a column with price (e.g. $12.99), SDL Studio won't take into account.
What am i doing wrong?
Can anybody help?



Ricki Farn
Local time: 15:55
Member (2005)
English to German
I have the same problem Feb 29, 2016

When an Excel cell contains only a number, or a number with a currency symbol, percent symbol or some such, Trados does not include this cell in the SDLXLIFF file (does not expose it to translation).

I haven't found a way of fixing this, there is nothing under "Project Settings > File Types > Microsoft Excel xxxx" (Trados Studio 2014 - haven't installed 2015 yet).

So Trados is not useful in certain situations in which currency values need to be converted, or inches to centimeters etc., and doing it directly in Excel means it won't be included in the Trados word count, so it won't be paid.

Bat signal for Trados support!


Local time: 15:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do it in Excel… Mar 1, 2016

Just select the cells with currency formatting and change the formatting, let's say to change “$12.99” to “12.99 $”.

As per the decimal and thousands separator, you do it in Excel as well. Go to File > Options > Advanced > and change them here. Press OK and your spread-sheet should be fine. BTW, you might tell this to yor client in case they have other setting for decimal and thousand separators in Excel. Don't forget to revert this settings in Excel when you have delivered the translation.


... Jesús Prieto ...


Stanislav Okhvat
Local time: 16:55
English to Russian
Re: how to handle prices in Excel files? Mar 1, 2016

Hello, Anne-Elisabeth and Ricki,

Excel is primarily a financial and calculation application. If you see any numeric information in a cell with or without a currency symbol or unit of measurement, it often means that the user entered a simple number in this cell and applied specific formatting to the cell. In the case of $12.99, the cell itself will store 12.99. You can confirm this: open Format Cells dialogue, and under Number tab you will see "Currency" selected in the list on the left and the currency symbol will be $. Because the currency symbol is not stored within the cell's value, Excel can use the cell for calculations. For instance, if you write a formula like =2*A1 where A1 is your cell, the formula will resolve to 2*12.99 (valid), not 2*$12.99 (error since a number cannot be multiplied by a character string).

The same concerns cells that contain dates.

SDL Trados Studio and all other CAT tools I know never import numerical or date cells. This has several drawbacks from the translation perspective:
- You cannot localize the numbers to use the correct thousand separator or decimal point symbol. The format of the numbers will depend on the language settings of the Excel user who will open the Excel spreadsheet.
- You cannot translate the currency symbols or extra information besides numbers if these are part of the formatting of a numeric or date cell.

If you intend to translate a numeric or date cell, the solution is to copy the cells to Word, add a straight apostrophe to the beginning of each cell, then copy and paste back into Excel (the apostrophes will become visible within the cells), and then double-click on each cell to edit them and then double-click on another cell - this will make the apostrophes invisible and turn the value into a proper text cell.

Before you do the above, make sure that the numbers / dates are not used by any formulas, since these formulas will become broken after these cells become fully textual. Also check with the client as the cells you intend to translate may need to be used for calculations in the future.

After you do this, your CAT tool will import the cells.

Best regards,
Stanislav Okhvat
TransTools – Useful tools for every translator


Ricki Farn
Local time: 15:55
Member (2005)
English to German
Thanks Jesús and Stanislav Mar 1, 2016

... for resolving this!

Have a great day,


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SDL 2015: how to handle prices in Excel files?

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