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Learn how to use Google Finance functions to get timely and accurate exchange rate data and create a currency converter worksheet

How to Change Currency in Google Sheets

changing currency google finance google sheets gsheets Apr 13, 2022

Did you know that there are 164 currencies circulating around the world? Our Google Sheet compatible templates are pretty flexible when it comes to different currencies since Google Sheets provides ways so you can change presets to your desired currency formats.

In this article, we will not only learn how to change currency in Google Sheets, but also learn how to create a currency converter using Google Sheets. You can use the Google Sheet multiplication formula to apply the conversion factor to the current data if you want to convert one currency's value into another as well as some functions that can automate getting accurate and timely Forex data that's very unique to Google Sheets.

Changing the Currency Formatting

Before you do anything else, make sure that the numbers in question are formatted as Currency. To do this, select the cells you want to format.

In the main menu, open up the format menu. This, in Excel, would be similar to the custom number format pane. Go to number then press currency.

All numbers in selected cells are formatted as currency with the Google Sheets default currency which is also USD.

To change some currency numbers to another type of Currency, such as the Euro, select the cells you want to change. 

Reopen the Formatting options and number formats, but instead, of pressing currency, go ahead and select custom currency to create a custom currency format.


Go ahead and select the currency format that we want which is Euros or keep browsing to see more formats and new currency. This list is arranged in an alphabetical order so you won't have a problem browsing to find the right one for your spreadsheet.

The selected numbers now have a different currency symbol applied to them.

Changing the Default Currency Format in Google Sheets

Now that we know how to change the currency , let's now see how we can change the default currency format for your convenience. I wouldn't want to be changing out the formatting everytime a new spreadsheet is made neither.

Assuming that we checked the number formats pane and saw that our default currency format is USD and the we want to change it to the Euro...

 Go to File then click on settings to open up the spreadsheet settings.

In the Locale drop down, select the country you want your default currency format to be set to. Since we want our default currency set to Euros, let's go ahead and select a country that has the Euro as its currency. Go ahead and press save settings and there you go!


If you go back into the format > numbers pane, you can see that all the defaults have been changed to the Euro.

Convert Currencies in Google Sheets with Functions

Now let's get down to actually converting currencies.

Again, suppose we want to convert USD to Euros. We must first know the exchange rate. We can use a credible website or even a quick Google search would suffice. As of writing, we know that 1 USD is worth 0.92 Euros. 0.92 will be our conversion factor.

We can type it in this column and in the column next to it, let's have Google Sheets multiply each of our dollar values by that conversion factor. In Cell C2, type in =A2*$B$2. Make sure you remember to set the absolute reference on the conversion factor so Google Sheets picks it up when we drag our formula down.

One obvious downside of this approach is that it doesn't automatically change whenever there's a movement in the Forex market.

How to Automatically Update Currencies in Google Sheets Using Google Finance

Luckily for us users, Google Sheets lives in a world where the internet exists. So unlike Microsoft Excel where you'd need to import and link an external XML file, the Google Suite provides you some incredibly unique functions that changes the game.

In our Euro Conversion column, let's enter this formula =GOOGLEFINANCE("Currency:USDEUR")

This formula gathers financial data that is readily available across the internet. We basically told it to look for currency and after the colon, we specify the base (USD) and target currency (EUR). Note that you need to know the ticker symbols for each currency for this to work properly. Once you press enter, it loads for a bit while it gathers your data and gives you the conversion rate which we can then uses for our converter.


Do note that this will only extract the conversion value. You will have to be the one to set the currency symbol and the currency format.

How to Create a Currency Converter in Google Sheets

We can use the data we got in the previous section to create some sort of currency converted dashboard in your spreadsheet. Since we saw awhile ago how easy it was to extract timely and accurate data into your spreadsheet, let' try to make a simple dashboard and include more currencies into our example.

Suppose we also want to see the current prices of these USD prices in Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen. In the neighboring column, let's allot that to be our conversion rates using the following formulas.




This would give us the conversion rates for each currency. Kinda like what you see at the Forex counter at the airport. Make sure to set the correct currency symbol using the instructions in the first section of this article, as the Google Finance functions won't do it for you.


All that's left is to multiply each of the USD cells to the conversion rates in their own columns and there you have it!


Google Apps such as Google Sheets, Google Drive and Google Docs have made it way easier nowadays to make meaningful files with maximum collaboration, and all you really need is a Google account. To be able to do such things for free on your own browser surely is a game changer. Make sure you stay tuned to Simple Sheets for more up and coming Google Suite guides as well as more formats of videos about the topic!


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