I have troubles using validation formulas on one specific site. Within a large sharepoint I was working on one site and had no problems using validation formulas.

Now I now want to implement these validations on a different site, but keep getting an error every time I want to use even the simplest validation formula. The message says:

The formula contains a syntax error or is not supported.

As I copied and pasted correct formulas, I suspect the latter is true. Is there a way to disable/enable Column Validations on one site?

  • Are you using different regional settings on the sites? Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 11:52
  • Indeed, I have. It's working on German, but not working on English (United States). I just changed English to German and now formulas are working?! How is this causing problems? I am not using localized functions.. Huh.
    – wheeler
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


The most common reason (when there is no error in the formula) is that sites with different regional settings uses different characters as a delimiter.

For European countries, commas works (,) work while English uses semicolon (;).

So try to change all the semicolons (,) to commas (;) for it to work in your English page and vice versa. Use find and replace in any text editor for your validations and it should work.

If you wanna take a deep dive into the subject, check out this Wikipedia article.

Comma-separated values

  • Uh, I feel so stupid. That explains it. I am writing my formulas within Excel and Excel's language is set to English. That's why I was not thinking about that problem. The separators are not affected by the language and have to be changed manually. Thanks for your quick help! :)
    – wheeler
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 12:12
  • Don't, this gets me every time. :) Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 12:13

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