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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dealing with country-specific number punctuation systems

WarpPLS users in countries that adopt number punctuation systems different from that adopted in the USA may have problems when using Excel to manipulate WarpPLS files.

For instance, in Brazil a comma is used to separate the integer from the fractional part of a real number (e.g., 1,431), whereas in the USA a period is used for that purpose (e.g., 1.431).

Because of that, a coefficient calculated by WarpPLS and exported into a .txt file as “1.431” may be read by a Brazilian version of Excel as one thousand four hundred and thirty-one, and not as one plus the 431/1000 fraction.

This tends to happen in certain types of analyses, such as second order latent variable analyses, where WarpPLS outputs are used as inputs after manipulation with country-specific versions of Excel.

A simple way to solve this problem is to use Excel, Notepad, or another simple text editing tool and replace the offending punctuation items, all points with commas (or vice-versa) for example, before using the inputs for other purposes.

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