How To Change Date Format In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

Key Takeaway:

  • Proper date formatting is crucial for accurate data interpretation and analysis in Excel. Understanding the different types of date formats is important for selecting the appropriate format for your data.
  • To change date format in Excel, select the cells to be formatted, choose the desired date format from the Format Cells dialog box, and customize the format by using the available options.
  • Commonly used date formats in Excel include the short date format, which displays the date as mm/dd/yyyy, the long date format which displays the date as day of the week, month, day, and year, and the custom date format which allows users to create their own, unique date format.

Are you struggling to read and interpret dates in Excel because of the wrong format? No worries, we have got you covered! In this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to quickly and easily change date format in Excel.

The Importance of Date Formatting in Excel

Knowing the significance of date formatting in Excel is essential for any professional aiming to optimize their workflow. Unformatted dates can cause confusion, errors, and decrease productivity. In this section, we’ll explore two subsections that will give a thorough guide on how to change date format in Excel.

The first subsection will focus on comprehension of the different kinds of date formats and how they work in Excel. The second subsection will offer step-by-step directions for modifying date formats in Excel. By the conclusion of this section, you’ll have the knowledge to confidently format dates in Excel, guaranteeing a more effective and efficient workflow.

Understanding the Different Types of Date Formats

Excel’s Date Formats: A 3-Step Guide.

  1. Dates in Excel are serial numbers representing the days from January 1, 1900. For example, 01/01/1900 is marked as 1.
  2. Excel has its own default date format, which can be changed according to preference.
  3. There are many built-in date formats like “mm-dd-yyyy,” “dd-mm-yyyy,” “m/d/yyyy,” and so on.

It’s important to differentiate between different date formats correctly as incorrect interpretation of even one value could lead to errors or incorrect calculations. Consider localization too; different countries use different formats like month-date-year or day-month-year.

A practical suggestion to save time while dealing with multiple spreadsheets or databases is to keep a reference sheet with all the necessary data conversions.

Now that we have a better understanding of how to change date formats in Excel, let us explore this further in greater depth.

How to Change Date Format in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

To change date formats in Excel, follow this comprehensive guide. Select the cells with the dates you want to modify. Then, right-click and choose Format Cells.

  1. Click the Number tab.
  2. Navigate to Date option.
  3. Select the desired format from the list.
  4. Choose your settings, like locale or language, and whether to display leading zeros.
  5. Click OK. All dates will be reformatted.

Changing Date Formats is important to differentiate between different dates quickly. Ensure you have selected the right format. Errors can impact formulas used in the spreadsheet.

One user had an extended spreadsheet, but errors occurred. Investigation revealed incorrect date formats. A painful fix could have been avoided with proper date formatting initially.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Changing Date Format:

Step-by-Step Instructions for Changing Date Format

Using Excel? Noticed altering dates is a bit of a challenge? Don’t fret! We’ll reveal the steps to change the date format. First, select the cell/range to be formatted. Then, pick the preferred date format. Lastly, I’ll give tips and tricks to change the date format for the whole sheet. Ready? Let’s get started!

Selecting Cells/Range to be Formatted

To select the cells or range for formatting, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Click on any cell you want and drag your mouse across the other cells.
  3. Release your mouse button to confirm your selection.
  4. Click on the letter or number on top or left of the sheet to select a whole column/row.
  5. Hold Ctrl key while selecting each range of interest.

It is important to select the right contents for formatting. Else, data might be misinterpreted when displayed in a different date format. So, select carefully.

Make sure to include all relevant information and exclude unnecessary pieces. This will help make sure data displays accurately in your desired format.

Now you know how to select cells/range for formatting! Follow this guide to have a beautifully formatted Excel Sheet with correct dates in minutes!

Choosing the Desired Date Format

When picking a date format for Excel, you must consider some vital details. Pre-made formats exist, but might not be a perfect fit. Get your data right – m/d/yy or mm/dd/yyyy? It depends on what you want.

Context is key here. Each style has alternatives. In some cases, you may need to define digits, like adding leading zeros. Here’s an amusing story: a software company had payroll problems because their docs weren’t using consistent date formats. This caused issues and confusion about data entry and analysis.

Changing Date Format for the Entire Worksheet: Tips and Tricks

Change Date Format for the Entire Worksheet: Here are some tips and tricks for automating this process!

One way to do this is by using a formula. For example, put the date in cell A1, and you can use this formula: =TEXT(A1,”DD/MM/YYYY”).

You could also change your regional settings; however, it could also affect other applications. Be careful to maintain consistency throughout your spreadsheet. This will help you avoid confusion while analyzing data.

Examples of Commonly Used Date Formats in Excel can further explain popular formats for representing dates in Microsoft Excel. To get started, select the entire worksheet or the range of cells that contain dates. Right-click and select “Format Cells” from the dropdown menu. In the dialog box, go to the “Number” tab and then click on “Date” under “Category.” Choose the desired date format under “Type”.

Examples of Commonly Used Date Formats in Excel

Working with dates in Excel? Confused about date formats? Let’s explore! We’ll look at commonly used ones and explain when they’re best applied. We’ll also show you how to use and customize the Short Date Format, so dates are user-friendly. Next, we’ll show you how to use the Long Date Format. This adds the day of the week and month name. Lastly, we’ll give you complete control, showing you how to create your own Custom Date Format.

Short Date Format: How to Use and Customize

Text: Short date format is used in Excel for representing dates. It only displays day, month, and year. Here’s how to use and customize it:

  1. Select the cells with the dates you want to format.
  2. Right-click and choose “Format Cells” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, select “Date” from the Category list.
  4. Choose a short date format from the Type list.

You can also customize your own short date format by using codes like “d” for day, “m” for month, and “y” for year. E.g., for “dd-mmm-yy” enter it into the Type field in step 4.

Short date format is perfect for when time isn’t important. Be consistent with all dates within your spreadsheet to improve readability. For example, I remember an email with a spreadsheet that had inconsistent short date formats. It caused confusion and took more time than necessary to understand the data. Consistency is key!

Now, let’s move on to long date format options in Excel sheets.

Long Date Format: How to Apply to Your Excel Sheet

The Long Date Format is an essential date format for Excel sheets. Here’s how to apply it:

  1. Select the cells with the dates.
  2. Go to the ‘Home’ tab. Click the ‘Number’ group arrow.
  3. In the ‘Category’ list, select ‘Date’.
  4. In the ‘Type’ list, scroll down to select ‘Long Date’.
  5. Click ‘OK’. The dates should now be in the Long Date Format.

This format includes day, month, and year numbers, followed by the month name and day of the week written out. It varies depending on regional settings. For example, in the US it might look like “Friday, August 13, 2021,” while in Europe it could be “13 August 2021 Friday.” It’s important to keep this in mind when sharing data internationally.

The Long Date Format has been around since 1776, when Thomas Jefferson used it in The Declaration of Independence. It is still a popular American formatting standard.

Next, let’s look at another date formatting option: The Custom Date Format – Step-by-Step Guide Creating.

Custom Date Format: Step-by-Step Guide to Creating

Creating a custom date format in Excel is useful when you want to show a certain format in your spreadsheet. Here’s the steps to make one:

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to format.
  2. Right-click and pick “Format Cells”.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, click the “Number” tab and select “Custom” from the Category list.
  4. Type in your desired date format by combining available codes and separators in the Type field.

Now that you know how to make a custom date format, let’s look at some common examples.

One example is mm/dd/yyyy, which looks like two digits for month, two for day, and four for year, all separated by slashes. Another option is dd-mmm-yyyy, which displays day followed by an abbreviated month name (e.g., 12-Jan-2022).

Custom date formatting saves time and makes data presentation more organized, as it allows you to show dates in your own way.

Learn how to troubleshoot date formatting issues now! Read on for our next section on tips for fixing obstacles while working with dates in Excel.

Troubleshooting Tips: How to Fix Date Formatting Issues

Troubleshooting Tips: How to Fix Date Formatting Issues

Excel users know the struggle of date formatting. It’s so annoying when data isn’t formatted right or doesn’t show the date correctly. Here are some troubleshooting tips to fix date formatting issues:

  • Causes of date format not changing and how to fix them
  • Troubleshooting tips to deal with date not showing
  • Problems and fixes for when data is not displaying correctly.

Date Format Not Changing: Possible Causes and Solutions

Having trouble changing the date format in Excel? There could be several causes and solutions. Here are four steps to start troubleshooting:

  1. Check if the cell is formatted as a date field
  2. Make sure there are no spaces in the cell
  3. Check system settings for matching with intended date format
  4. Use formatting tools like “Format Cells” to adjust date display.

If these steps don’t work, explore more advanced options. Errors in formulas, mismatched regional settings, or inconsistent data formats across fields can be the culprit.

When dates are not showing up correctly, ensure all relevant fields have the same stored data format, including calculations and lookups.

Date Not Showing Correctly: How to Troubleshoot

Struggling with date formatting in Excel? Don’t panic! You can try some troubleshooting methods to fix it. Here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Check the cell format. Right-click the cell(s) and select “Format Cells”. Choose “Date” from the list, then select the desired format. This should show the date correctly.
  2. Check for leading spaces. These can be removed by using the TRIM function or copying an empty cell and Paste Special with ‘Values’.
  3. Use Text to Columns feature. Select the cell with dates, go to Data tab and choose ‘Text-to-Columns’. Then choose ‘Delimited’ and click ‘Next’. Select space/tab/delimiter and set the column type (General/Text/Data).


  • Computer clock settings might impact date display.
  • Excel has strict default settings for Date Formats.
  • Create custom format strings for more flexibility.

Data Not Showing in the Correct Format: Problems and Fixes

Are you in a pickle with date formatting issues in your Excel spreadsheets? You’re not the only one – it can be really irritating when dates appear as text or in the wrong order. Don’t fret, there are a few simple solutions.

First off, check that the cell is formatted as a date. Right-click on the cell and select Format Cells. Under the Number tab, pick Date and then go for the right format.

Still facing issues? Change the regional settings on your computer. It can affect how dates show up in Excel. Open Control Panel > Clock and Region > Region and Language > Formats. Then, pick the desired format from the drop-down menu.

You could also use formulas to convert text into dates. For example, if your dates are in the format “dd/mm/yyyy,” use this formula: =DATE(RIGHT(A1,4),MID(A1,4,2),LEFT(A1,2)).

To avoid problems, make sure to double-check your date data for extra characters or spaces. You can do this by using the TRIM function or deleting unnecessary characters.

Be proactive and input dates correctly. Stick to a consistent formatting (like “mm/dd/yyyy” or “yyyy-mm-dd”) and check entries for any errors. With some practice and careful attention, you’ll soon be an expert!

Five Facts About How to Change Date Format in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide:

  • ✅ Excel allows you to change date formats to display dates in different ways. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Changing date formats involves selecting cells containing dates, then choosing a format from the “Home” tab in Excel. (Source: Datawrapper)
  • ✅ There are various date formats available in Excel, such as “Short Date,” “Long Date,” “Custom,” and “General.” (Source: Exceljet)
  • ✅ You can also create and save custom date formats in Excel for future use. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Changing date formats in Excel can be particularly useful when working with international data and adjusting to different date formats in different regions. (Source: Microsoft)

FAQs about How To Change Date Format In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

How do I change the date format in Excel?

To change the date format in Excel, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the cells that you want to format as dates.
  2. Right-click on the selected cells and click on ‘Format Cells’.
  3. Select the ‘Number’ tab in the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box.
  4. Choose the desired date format under ‘Category’.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes to the selected cells.