As I’m sure many of you know I am a fully fledged European, living it up in a multi-country, multi-culture, multi-language, (limited understanding ;-)) kind of a way.
At my current role I am running the multi language version of Office in English – which is pretty good (apart from Outlook obviously, that does not respect language settings properly). I have Windows set to English interface too, and that works well too.
Google and its spooky spammy ad network seem completely unable to respect my language choice. I would never notice this as I usually run an ad-blocker but here at work we get the full pointless hit. I had no idea the internet was so infested. Even on my blog here I have seen ads, I didn’t think it was popular enough to warrant it.
But anyway I just wasted a couple of hours of my life trying to understand why some VBA wouldn’t work.
Its something I have done 13 1/3 times before with no problem, but here, today, no go. writing a formula from VBA to a cell – no bigee.
ActiveCell.Formula = “=CONCATENATE(….”
I built up my string carefully using an in cell version as a model. I copy pasted it into a cell no bother. And yet when I tried to run it, it errored. With the ‘oh so helpful’ ‘Application or object defined error’. It would have been easier and more honest for that to read ‘Error, tough shit’
So anyway, I wondered if it was an R1C1 thing, I have been burnt by that a few times, so I changed all my code to be R1C1 stylee, and tried to set ac.formulaR1C1, still no go.
I noticed it was a long formula, so I cut out a big chunk of stuff to get it in under 256 chars, still no joy.
Then I thought maybe I had too many arguments, so I changed my code to just do 3, still no joy. In the immediate pane (pain) I tried activecell.formula = “=A1″, worked fine no problem.
So then I asked another dev to help, then, as is often the case as soon as you ask someone else, it finally it hit me: with nl settings the argument separator is a semi colon ; whereas in en it is a comma ,. Edit replace ; with , and job done, my formula worked. VBA always talks to Excel with en culture. So my simple immediate window test formula worked fine, but anything with multi-arguments failed. there is a point there about making tests realistic I guess.
So there it is that’s what I did the other morning morning, I relearnt that I need to build formulas in VBA using commas not semi colons. Of course I could ‘just’ change the windows regional settings, but anyone who has done that will know what a can of worms that opens. for example VSTO add-ins wont install, CSVs wont import, and a million other things I have not been burnt by recently, no, regional settings is best left alone.
As a matter of interest I find it very difficult to get used to entering formulas via the UI with ;’s instead of ,’s too. nearly every time I get a slap for using a comma.
Have you had any multi lingual challenges recently?