Format a spreadsheet for another language in Numbers on Mac
A spreadsheet’s language and region determine the formatting conventions of the text — for example, whether commas or full stops are used as decimal points, which currency symbol is used, where to hyphenate words at line breaks and how dates are presented (day/month/year or month/day/year).
You can create a spreadsheet that uses the formatting of a different language as long as you have more than one language in your device’s preferred language list. To use another language in your spreadsheet, you need to add an input source for that language (for example, a second keyboard) in System Settings (or System Preferences).
Tip: In macOS 12 or later, you can translate text in your spreadsheet to another language, then choose if you want to copy the translation, replace the text with the translation and more. Select the text you want to translate, Control-click the selection, then choose Translate. To learn more about the Translate feature, see the macOS User Guide.
Set up a keyboard or other input source for another language
To use another language in your spreadsheet, first set up an input source (for example, a language-specific keyboard or character palette) for the language. When you add a language-specific keyboard to your device, that language is also added to your device’s preferred language list.
On your Mac, do one of the following:
macOS Ventura 13 or later: Choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Keyboard in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.) Go to Text Input on the right, then click Edit.
macOS 12 or earlier: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources.
Click at the bottom of the left column, choose the keyboard you want to use, then click Add.
Turn on or select the tickbox next to “Show Input menu in menu bar”.
For more information about input sources, click Help in the menu at the top of your screen, then search for “input sources”.
If Numbers is open, quit Numbers and reopen it so that it recognises the source.
To switch to the other keyboard, click the Input menu on the right side of the menu bar, then choose a keyboard.
If you switch to a language written in a direction different to the current language, the insertion point moves to the side of the spreadsheet used by the new language. For example, if you switch the input source from English to Hebrew, the insertion point moves to the right side of the spreadsheet.
Create a spreadsheet with the formatting of a different language
When you create a new spreadsheet, you can automatically format numbers, dates, times and currency in tables and charts using the formatting conventions of a specific language and region. You might want to do this if you plan to share the spreadsheet with someone in another region.
For example, some regions use commas instead of full stops to indicate decimal points, or different monetary symbols for currency, or they display numbers from right to left instead of left to right.
This language setting affects only the current spreadsheet.
Open Numbers, then hold down the Option key and choose File > New (from the File menu at the top of your screen).
Click the Language pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner of the template chooser, then choose another language.
Double-click the template you want to use.
When you choose a new language, the template titles and text and some formatting controls change to reflect that language.
When you view a spreadsheet that uses a language and formatting different to your computer’s, a message near the bottom of the spreadsheet indicates which formatting is used. To see examples of the formatting differences, click the language in the message.
Change a spreadsheet’s language and formatting
After you create a spreadsheet, you can change its language setting while the spreadsheet is open.
Note: You can’t change this setting for a shared spreadsheet.
Choose File > Advanced > Language & Region (from the File menu at the top of your screen.)
In the dialogue that appears, click the pop-up menus and choose a language and a region.
If you choose the first item in the Language pop-up menu (System - [language]), you reset the spreadsheet to the language and region of your computer. If you subsequently change your computer’s language setting or if you open the spreadsheet on a computer with a different language setting, the spreadsheet’s language and region automatically change to match the computer’s. But if you share the spreadsheet, all users see the spreadsheet in the language and region of your computer.
After you change the spreadsheet’s language and region, any new table and chart data you enter reflects the new language. For existing table and chart data, the language in dates (for example, month names) changes, but the punctuation in dates and the order of the day, month and year don’t change. The punctuation in numbers (for example, the decimal point and thousands separator) does change.