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10.5: Set custom number and currency formats System 10.5
You can set custom number and currency formats using the defaults system. For example, entering the following code in Terminal sets the thousands separator to a space, and the decimal separator to a comma, leaving the currency symbol as set in International preference pane:

defaults write -g AppleICUNumberSymbols -dict 0 ',' 1 ' ' 10 ',' 17 ' '

Some useful keys for the AppleICUNumberSymbols:
  • 0 -- decimal separator for numbers
  • 1 -- thousands separator for numbers
  • 4 -- starting character for numbers; for example, if you set the value to a, instead of numbers 0-9 you will see characters a-j (well, this is not that useful!).
  • 8 -- currency symbol; don't set this to honor the settings in the International preference pane
  • 10 -- decimal separator for currency
  • 17 -- thousands separator for currency
[robg adds: This worked as described, and seems to be the only way to customize the number formats -- the International System Preferences panel includes a Customize button for Dates and Times, but not for Numbers. I don't know if this only works in 10.5, but the hint was submitted that way, so I've left it marked as such.]
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10.5: Set custom number and currency formats | 14 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Set custom number and currency formats
Authored by: sd on Apr 09, '08 09:22:03AM
no, that is not specific to 10.5.
This hint is a duplicate of this one
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050926170928881
that was for 10.4

In fact it is a workaround of a bug since 10.4 is out there! (one button is missing, that was OK in 10.3). Shame to Apple.

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Useless
Authored by: Stormchild on Apr 09, '08 03:11:09PM

This site needs a new section for hints such as this one, which are of no use to anyone. While it is somewhat interesting that you can change some of these things, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to do so.



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Could be Useful If...
Authored by: thg on Apr 09, '08 05:11:11PM

If this can be used to change the currency symbol in 10.5, there are many, many people who want to do that, namely using the ISO 4217 codes instead of the localized versions (e.g. EUR instead of the Euro symbol).



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Not Useless at all!
Authored by: Pieero on Apr 10, '08 03:41:19AM

I immedately used this very nice hint. Also, I don't think it is possible to make that judgement, that something isn't usefull at all.



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Useless
Authored by: sd on Apr 10, '08 09:23:58AM

This site needs a new section for comments such as this one, which are of no use to anyone. While a hint is somewhat not to any use for some moaners, there is absolutely no reason for everyone having the same opinion.



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stormCHILD
Authored by: germ on Apr 10, '08 01:23:18PM

Your user name says it all.



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Useless - not
Authored by: TicToc on Apr 10, '08 03:54:16PM

Perhaps you're in the US; It's often hard to know what goes on in the rest of the world. You may not be aware that many Europeans use the comma as a decimal separator, and the space as the thousands separator. A declining number of people probably, but this hint is not useless to them.

It might be nice if you check your facts before flaming a hint submitter.



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Useless - No really, it is
Authored by: Stormchild on Apr 11, '08 08:00:37AM

And perhaps you've heard of the "International" preference pane in System Preferences? Setting the Region will give you the correct currency and numeric separators for the region in which you live.

What a concept.

If you actually need to go in and edit the currency symbol and numeric separators, then you are not using the correct region, or you are not following the correct rules for the region in which you live. Simple.

What was that about doing one's research first?



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Useless - No really, it is
Authored by: Peter Schoenrank on Oct 21, '08 03:30:13PM
And perhaps you've heard of the "International" preference pane in System Preferences? Setting the Region will give you the correct currency and numeric separators for the region in which you live.

The Region pop-up on the Formats tab of my International preference pane lists nineteen regions. I think the number available is reduced due to the limited languages that I have installed. Still, I am willing to bet my next annual income against yours that there are many people in the world who speak one of English, French, German or Spanish who would not be covered by one of the regions that I have listed.

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And...
Authored by: Stormchild on Apr 11, '08 08:02:34AM

...by the way, no, I'm not in the US. I live in Canada. We are generally aware of the rest of the world.



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And...
Authored by: Peter Schoenrank on Oct 21, '08 03:51:16PM
I live in Canada. We are generally aware of the rest of the world.

I respectfully submit that you are not even aware of the rest of Canada. There is an increasing tendency in Canada to use international formats rather than US ones. This is most apparent in telephone numbers. More phone numbers can be seen daily that use '.' to separate the number groups rather than '-'. There is also a small but growing trend to use a space rather than a comma to group digits in formatted numbers. That's not what you get when you select Canada in the region pop-up.

And the above is just for English-speaking Canada. In the province of Quebec, they generally use European formats: space for grouping and currency symbol after a number. Sometimes they use '.' for the decimal, and sometimes ','. There is no Canada-Quebec option in the region pop-up, so do you think maybe someone in Quebec might want to be able to do some customization?

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Maybe you can use 10.3 PrefPane
Authored by: cnotarianni on Apr 10, '08 04:51:58AM

I work on a 10.4 System (PPC). I swapped the Localization.prefPane with the 10.3 version and now I have again the "missing button".
The path to Localization.prefPane is

/System/Library/PreferencePanes/Localization.prefPane/

For user who want to change the format via GUI, use this trick.
Of course, after the number format customization, swap again the Localization.prefPane with the 10.4 version.



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10.5: Set custom number and currency formats
Authored by: auco on Sep 08, '08 04:56:15AM

I followed this hint and because I'm a german programmer, changed the float separator from the german "," to the US "."

Be warned though => the calculator.app goes crazy and does not recognize floats anymore, even if the input is correctly shown in the LCD-window, but as soon as you apply an operation, the post-separator-digits vanish. E.g.: 6,3 + 1 = 6 :-(

Had to set this back to the default german setting.



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10.5: Set custom number and currency formats
Authored by: wjv on Dec 11, '08 01:13:47PM
Number and currency format customisation in OS X seems both horribly complex and horribly broken. (And it's been a lot worse since they've removed the relevant Preferences panel in Tiger.)

For instance, even using this hint does not prevent iTunes from using the "default" decimal separator for your region.

Anyway, this guy has gone and investigated the situation rather extensively, and his wiki page lists a few more options than this hint:

http://www.macfreek.nl/mindmaster/Decimal_Seperator_in_Mac_OS_X

And in response to a poster way back in this thread, OS X's "defaults" for may territories are so far from the official standard, it's not even funny. Hence the fact that this hint is VERY useful for some of us.

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