How To Access Windows Regional Setting


Many different cultures around the world have their particular standard formats for expressing data such as dates and times-whether it's a person writing it out by hand, something appearing in print, or data stored digitally. For Windows users, the format is influenced by the regional settings.
Depending on the region you're in, you might have particular expectations of how different types of data are displayed and stored. This can lead to confusion or complications. For example, the most popular format for dates around the world is dd/mm/yyyy, followed by dd.mm.yyyy and d.m.yyyy. In the United States, however, the typical convention for dates is mm/dd/yyyy. So imagine the potential for confusion between someone in Europe sending an email to a U.S. coworker about an event on 5/6/2018. The European is referring to June 5, 2018, but the American might interpret it as May 6, 2018.
To view or change your region settings in Windows, go to the Control Panel. Look for and select the option that includes the word "Region" or "Regional" in some form (it will vary depending on which version of Windows you have). There, you can set the country, language, and other information, such as number formats.
Depending on the region you select, the default formats will vary. This will affect the defaults for how data is displayed in Access.
Figure 1 shows the Short Date and Long Date format symbols for Windows as well as examples of short dates, long dates, currency, and long time values for a few regions. It also shows country and language abbreviations.
The format symbols used for Windows are similar to those used for Access, but there are a few differences. Windows uses "M" for month and "m" for minute, whereas Access uses "m" or "M" for month, and "N" or "n" for minute. "H" or "HH" means a 24-hour clock, "h" or "hh" is a 12-hour clock, and "tt" is used to denote an a.m./p.m. indicator for a 12-hour clock.
Looking at the figure, it's interesting to note some of the quirks and differences. For example, the French part of Canada (CA-fr) uses a short date format more like the English part of Canada (CA-en) rather than the format used in France (FR-fr). Yet both Canadian formats use an unambiguous year-month-day format.
The differences between the two extend beyond the date format: CA-fr uses a 24-hour clock, not 12. Parentheses denote negative numbers instead of a minus sign. A space is added before the currency symbol because it comes after the value instead of before it. For long dates, the format is day-month-year instead of month-day-year. Leading zeros are displayed in time values. Instead of a comma, a semicolon is used to separate items in a list. And a space separates groups of thousands in a number, rather than a comma. But both CA-fr and CA-en use the metric measuring system.
While the primary difference is how the data is displayed, region settings can create problems when working with data. Those who don't use the U.S. formats, for example, might first experience problems with different formats when concatenating. For instance, when concatenating data in VBA or using SQL, the popular day-month-year formats aren't recognized. There are only two formats that will always be understood-the U.S. format and the ODBC canonical format, which is yyyy-mm-dd hh:nn:ss (year-month-day hour:minute:second).

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