How To Calculate Foreign Exchange

Spreadsheets,Tips 9 March 2011 6 Comments

Gone are the days or keying in and manually updating an exchange rate in a cell of a spreadsheet and using that to perform currency conversions. Many of the formulas and functions available in Google docs spreadsheets are plugged into the real time web. Currency conversion calculations can always be up to date without having to look up an exchange rate. Here’s one way to do it:

  • In a Google Docs spreadsheet use the GoogleFinance() function to get an exchange rate. For example, to get the exchange rate from US dollars to Euros you would enter:
  • To convert the value in a cell representing an amount in one currency to another currency, multiply the cell reference by the currency conversion formula above in another cell. For example, if the amount in US dollars is in cell A2, we can put the equivalent amount in Euros in cell B2 by entering the following formula in B2:

Why This Works

Currency conversions using the GoogleFinance() function take the following form:

=GoogleFinance("CURRENCY:<from currency symbol><to currency symbol>)

For example, to go from Canadian dollars to Philippine pesos, you’d use the following formula:


where CAD is the currency symbol for Canadian dollars and PHP is the currency symbol for Philippine pesos. You can find a complete and searchable list of currency symbols that can be used with this formula here.


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6 Responses on “How To Calculate Foreign Exchange”

  1. Daniele Pais says:

    Fantastic, I was looking for this formula everywhere and could not find it until I landed to your web site and ….bingo..!

    Your URL is Bookmarked..!

  2. Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out!

  3. kim says:

    does not work for me, I have pasted the formula in, and also tried typing it manually either way the spreadsheet simply displays the formula as typed (was entered into a brand new google docs spreadsheet so all settings on spreadsheet were as default…

    perhaps it is no longer working in most recent (I think last week or so – early nov 2011) release?

  4. Espen says:

    Excellent. Thanks for posting this.
    Is there a way to add a date to this? Ie currency conversion rates at a given day?

  5. Grim says:

    Worked for me first time and I made a nice cross currency table then just copy andpaste into my own excel spreadsheet. it would be nice you have somthing that can just link and update a cross currency table though. Free of course.


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