How To Format Dates In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Learn the basics of Excel date formats: Understanding the available date formats in Excel and setting the default date format for a worksheet will help you format dates effectively and efficiently.
  • Create custom date formats in Excel: By creating custom date formats and understanding the syntax for them, you can format dates to meet your specific needs.
  • Format dates with text in Excel: Using text functions to format dates in Excel and formatting dates in text strings can make it easier to work with dates in your worksheets.
  • Calculate dates in Excel: Using the DATE, EDATE, and WORKDAY functions can help you perform calculations with dates, such as finding the difference between two dates.
  • Validate dates in Excel: Using the ISDATE, IF, and AND functions can help you ensure that the dates in your worksheet are valid and accurate.

Are you struggling to accurately format dates in Excel? Don’t worry, with our simple guide you can easily keep track of dates and make sure they display correctly. You’ll be an Excel date formatting pro in no time!

How to Format Dates in Excel: The Basics

Excel is the go-to when tracking and analyzing data. But, working with dates in Excel is not easy – especially for newbies.

Don’t worry though, with a bit of practice, formatting dates in Excel can be mastered! Here’s a guide to the basics. We’ll go over what date formats are available, and how to set the default date format for a worksheet. Let’s get started and become a pro at Excel dates!

Image credits: by David Washington

Understanding the Available Date Formats in Excel

Understanding date formats in Excel is essential for making accurate data records. Excel has many date formats to choose from, which can improve the accuracy of records. In addition to entering dates manually, Excel also enables users to import them from other sources, such as databases and spreadsheets.

Excel stores dates as serial numbers. This means each date has a unique number that can be used for calculations. January 1st, 1900 is stored as 1, and the number increases by one each day. For instance, January 2nd, 1900 has the serial number 2, while December 31st, 2020 has the serial number 44197.

Excel has predefined date formats based on various regions and languages, known as “date schemes”. Each format has four parts, separated by slashes (/), that outline the format. Examples include MM/DD/YYYY (“07/04/2015”), DD-MM-YYYY (“06-10-2020”), YY/MM/DD (“20/10/06”), and MMM D YYYY (“Sep17th1968”).

Excel’s “number” category in the Home ribbon has drop-down menus for quickly recognizing and selecting a desired date format. Once you choose a format, it will format all selected cells with the corresponding style.

Numerical values given as consecutive dates can be automatically read by Excel as dates, even if they are not assigned a specific date format or inputted as such. This is an autofill feature, which converts a range of numbers to date formats without changing the output to other date styles. For example, typing 7/5/19 or IIII results in 5th July 2019, or the start of Thursday.

The autofill feature saves time by quickly converting numbers to date formats. Finally, we’ll look at how to set the default formats for Excel sheets.

Setting the Default Date Format for a Worksheet

Do you want to save time and effort when entering data into Excel? Set the default date format for your worksheet! Follow these easy steps:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells you want to apply it to.
  2. On the Home tab, select “Number” or press Ctrl+1.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, select “Date” under Category and pick your desired format under Type.

Any data entered into the selected cells will automatically be formatted to the default date format. Keep in mind that this applies only to the worksheet where it’s applied. To use it across all worksheets, repeat the steps for each individually.

Don’t miss out on this useful feature and start setting your default date format today. Plus, learn how to create custom date formats for even more control.

Creating Custom Date Formats in Excel

Excel users know that formatting dates can be difficult. But, no worries – there are simple steps to make custom date formats. This article will break down the process in two sections. The first is “How to Create Custom Date Formats in Excel”. The second is “Understanding the Syntax for Custom Date Formats”. All levels of Excel users can benefit from mastering date formatting. It will help them stay organized and efficient.

Creating Custom Date Formats in Excel-How to Format Dates in Excel,

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How to Create Custom Date Formats in Excel

Dream of formatting dates in Excel to fit your needs? Here’s how:

  1. Select the cells with the desired dates.
  2. Press CTRL+1 or right-click and select Format Cells.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, go to Number tab.
  4. Click Category list and select Date.
  5. Under Type, choose Custom.
  6. In the Type box, enter a custom date format code with day (d), month (m), and year (y). Custom date formats allow you to display dates any way you want. For example, “MM-DD-YYYY”. Excel offers many built-in date formats that can be personalized.
  7. Be aware that formatting cells with date values will convert the data into text values. To avoid this, convert cells with numbers formatted as dates back to number formatting.

Stay tuned for more info on syntax for custom date formats!

Understanding the Syntax for Custom Date Formats

  1. Right-click on a cell or select “Format Cells” from the “Home” tab to locate the “Format Cells” option.

  2. Go to the “Number” tab in the “Format Cells” window.

  3. Choose “Custom” from the Category list.

  4. Type out a custom date format code in the Type box. Use the codes d, m, and y – separated by slash (/), dash (-), or space. For example, enter mm/dd/yyyy to display dates like 01/01/2022.

  5. See how the format looks in the example text box below the Type field. Refer to the sample dates beside it.

Remember that these codes are case-sensitive, so type them correctly. Custom date formats offer lots of customization and ease when using Excel. Make sure you use the same format in your spreadsheets for convenience.

You can also create unique formats, which can make data management more enjoyable. When I first started using Excel at work, I didn’t understand the codes for custom formatting. I had to look up how-to articles like this one. It was difficult, but it made a big, positive impact on my work. Don’t give up – it’s worth it!

Now, let’s move on to Formatting Dates with Text in Excel.

Formatting Dates with Text in Excel

Ever faced formatting issues while using Excel? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Excel offers lots of tools to help you with it. Here, we’ll explore how to format dates with text. We’ll look into two sections: using text functions and formatting dates in text strings. Following these tips will save you time and keep your data organised.

Formatting Dates with Text in Excel-How to Format Dates in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Woodhock

How to Use Text Functions to Format Dates in Excel

Text functions are great for formatting dates in Excel. Text strings with dates make sorting and filtering data easy. Here’s how to use them.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to add the date format to.
  2. Go to the Home tab from the ribbon menu. Choose Number Format or press Ctrl + Shift + 1.
  3. From the dropdown, select Custom or hit C. Enter your custom date format code manually or from the list.
  4. Click OK or Enter to apply.

Text functions can change the display of numbers and dates without changing their values. Change the format of a cell through its properties. Create custom number formats with digits, characters and symbols.

Text functions let you make global changes within a single cell. You don’t need to type new strings when there’s a change. For instance, when working with financial records in Excel tables, the DATE function manipulates formatted dates. This ensures consistency across columns, rows and worksheets.

On a summer afternoon in school, I helped my friend Kay. He had a finance report due tomorrow. He was stuck staring at his blank spreadsheet. I showed him how to use TEXT function. I shared some formulas to make his work easier.

Formatting Dates in Text Strings in Excel helps you figure out how to calculate coded date precedents. Learn how to use placeholders like ‘Today’, ‘Tomorrow’, and ‘Yesterday’.

Formatting Dates in Text Strings in Excel

Formatting dates in text strings in Excel is a simple task. Here’s how:

  1. Select the cell or range containing the text and the date.
  2. Find the Number Format drop-down menu in the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Choose Custom and enter desired date format. For example: ‘mm/dd/yyyy‘ or ‘dd-mmm-yy‘.

This technique is useful; it helps to sort and calculate dates. The date must be in quotation marks to be recognised as a text string, not a number. Microsoft Support remind us to pay attention to syntax and structure when creating custom date formats, such as not including numbers with day names like ‘2015 Tuesday‘.

Now that you know how to format dates in Excel, you’re ready to calculate dates!

Calculating Dates in Excel

Ever wrestle with date calculations in Excel? If so, you’re not solo! I was in the same boat. As a frequent Excel user, I used to spend ages trying to find the right formulas. Fortunately, I stumbled on a few built-in functions. In this article, we’ll explore these one by one. Including the DATE, EDATE and WORKDAY functions. With these, you can save time and simplify your Excel work.

Calculating Dates in Excel-How to Format Dates in Excel,

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How to Use the DATE Function to Calculate Dates in Excel

To use the DATE function to calculate dates in Excel, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Select the cell where you want to display the date.
  2. Type =DATE(
  3. Enter the year in four digits, followed by a comma (e.g., 2021,) and press Tab.
  4. Then enter the month in two digits, followed by another comma and press Tab again (e.g., 08,).
  5. Finally, enter the day in two digits and close off the formula with a closing parenthesis ‘)’. Press Enter and you’re done!

Using the DATE function results in more precision than manually entering dates, especially with large data sets. This technique also enables quick modifications to saved spreadsheets without losing accuracy.

Remember: Excel stores dates internally as whole numbers (cell format-Dates). This number represents the days that have passed since January 0th, 1900.

Also, make sure Text or General formatting is not applied, else it will return an error value of #VALUE!

Though the method may seem daunting at first, it’s relatively easy to use and saves time compared to typing out long-formulaic descriptions.

To make calculations easier, use Worksheet functions such as DAY(), MONTH() or YEAR() and keep Dates in text format-cell alignment -Left.

Next up? How to Use EDATE Function for further control over Date calculations!

Using the EDATE Function to Calculate Dates in Excel

Enter a date into a cell in your spreadsheet. Click the cell where you want the calculated date to appear. Type “=EDATE” (no quotes) plus an open parenthesis. Enter the cell reference of the start date, a comma, and the number of months you want to add or subtract. Close the parenthesis and press enter.

The result in the cell will be the date you calculated. To subtract months, use a negative value for the number of months. Combine EDATE Function with SUMIF or AVERAGEIF to calculate invoices due in a certain period.

Note that dates are stored in Excel as numbers. January 1st 1900 is 1, and each subsequent day adds one. Format cells properly in Cell Number Format menu. Don’t forget to close the parentheses or misspell “EDATE“. This can lead to error messages.

For example, one user forgot to close a parenthesis. This caused incorrect dates and missed deadlines. Next up is Using the WORKDAY Function to Calculate Dates in Excel.

Using the WORKDAY Function to Calculate Dates in Excel

Type =WORKDAY( and select the starting date cell in an empty cell. Add or subtract the number of workdays you want after a comma. Also, if your workweek starts on a day other than Monday, include this info after another comma. Close the parentheses and hit enter.

Excel will then show the resulting date. Note that Excel considers weekends (Saturday and Sunday) as non-working days by default. But, you can customize this by adding arguments in the function.

For holidays or non-standard workdays, use variations of the WORKDAY function: WORKDAY.INTL or NETWORKDAYS.INTL.

Validate the data before making decisions based on the calculations. To do this, format the date cells correctly. Select the cells, go to “Format Cells” under “Home” in Excel’s ribbon menu, select “Date” as the category and choose your desired format.

Using functions like WORKDAY is useful for calculating dates in Excel, but remember to validate the data.

Validating Dates in Excel

Working with data sets in Excel? Experiencing issues with dates? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this section, we will discuss validating dates in Excel. There are three methods. We will provide step-by-step guides so you can trust your spreadsheet data. No more major setbacks because of incorrect, inaccurate, or improperly formatted dates!

Validating Dates in Excel-How to Format Dates in Excel,

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How to Validate Dates in Excel Using the ISDATE Function

Validate dates in Excel with the ISDATE function. Follow these 5 steps for success:

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to validate.
  2. Go to ‘Formula’ tab & click ‘Insert Function.’
  3. Type ‘ISDATE‘ in the search bar & pick it from the list.
  4. Pick the cell with the date in the ‘Value‘ field.
  5. Click ‘OK‘ to apply.

Excel will then see if the selected cell(s) contain a date. If not, it’ll return a FALSE value.

ISDATE is a great way to make sure your data is accurate. It can be used alongside other validation rules to avoid errors.

Not validating dates regularly? You’re missing out on valuable insights from your data. Validate dates with functions like ISDATE to get accurate results from your analysis.

In the next section, learn how to use the IF function to validate dates in Excel.

Using the IF Function to Validate Dates in Excel

  1. Open the Excel sheet and input desired dates in one cell.

  2. Ensure the date format is correct. Change the format by right-clicking the cell and selecting the ‘Format Cells’ option.

  3. Insert the IF function in a separate cell. For example, if the date is in cell A1, insert the formula – ‘=IF(ISERROR(DATEVALUE(A1)),”Error”,”Correct”)’.

  4. Press ‘Enter’ to see if there’s an error or not. Double-check ‘DATEVALUE’ and ‘ISERROR’ functions are typed correctly.

  5. You’ll see a message in the column. It’ll say ‘Error’ if the date formats don’t match. It’ll say ‘Correct’ if they do.

Using the IF Function to Validate Dates in Excel is essential for precise date validation. It’s important to understand the input dataset before using it.

Technology is advancing rapidly. Functions like IF make life easier when dealing with huge datasets. Time is saved without compromising efficiency. It helps marketers see exact date-related differences quickly.

There are lots of ways to use Excel’s powerful functionalities. Using IF is one of the core capabilities needed to make sense of large datasets.

A friend had trouble validating dates for a quarterly stats report using Excel. With the aid of Using the IF Function to Validate Dates in Excel, the answer was soon found. Dates formatted differently in multiple sheets were the issue. An IF function helped spot the discrepancies and speed up their work. Plus, the report accuracy was increased.

Using the AND Function to Validate Dates in Excel

Using the AND function to validate dates in Excel is a great way of ensuring the accuracy and proper formatting of data. Here’s the five-step guide:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and click on a cell.
  2. Type “=AND(” into the formula bar.
  3. Select the cell with the date or input as “cell reference” within quotes.
  4. Add a comma and select the validity range.
  5. End the statement using “)” and press Enter.

This function is useful for validating dates. It checks if multiple conditions are true simultaneously. Any error or invalid entry will trigger an error message until fixed, meaning faster and more efficient checks.

In conclusion, the AND Function is great for validating dates and ensuring accuracy and formatting. It also speeds up validation of correctness in large data sets.

For example, I once worked on a project with 50000 rows of dates in Excel. We didn’t notice some of them were wrongly formatted – it caused delays and issues until we resolved it!

Five Facts About How to Format Dates in Excel:

  • ✅ Excel offers a variety of pre-set date formats, including “Short Date” and “Long Date.” (Source: Microsoft Excel Help)
  • ✅ To create a custom date format in Excel, use the “Custom” option and enter a code using letters and symbols. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ The code “yyyy” represents a four-digit year in a custom date format. (Source: Techradar)
  • ✅ The code “mmmm” represents the full name of the month in a custom date format, such as “January” or “February.” (Source: Techrepublic)
  • ✅ Excel can also convert text values into valid dates using the “Text to Columns” feature. (Source: Ablebits)

FAQs about How To Format Dates In Excel

How do I format dates in Excel?

To format dates in Excel, select the cell or range of cells you want to format, click the “Home” tab, and then select the “Number” group. Click on the drop-down menu for “Number Format” and select “More Number Formats.” From there, select the “Date” category and choose the format you want.

How do I change the date format in Excel?

To change the date format in Excel, select the cell or range of cells with the date you want to change. Click the “Number” group on the “Home” tab and select “More Number Formats” from the drop-down menu. Select the “Date” category, then choose the new date format you want to apply.

What format should I use to enter dates in Excel?

You can enter dates in almost any format that Excel will recognize, such as “1/1/2021” or “January 1, 2021.” However, it is generally recommended that you use the format “yyyy-mm-dd” (e.g. 2021-01-01) for consistency and compatibility across different systems.

How do I convert dates to text in Excel?

To convert dates to text in Excel, select the cell or range of cells with dates that you want to convert. Click the “Number” group on the “Home” tab and select “Text” from the drop-down menu. This will format your dates as text values

How do I calculate the difference between two dates in Excel?

To calculate the difference between two dates in Excel, you can subtract one from the other. For example, use the formula =A2-B2, where A2 and B2 are the cells with the dates that you want to subtract. This will give you the difference in days between the two dates.

How do I display the current date in Excel?

To display the current date in Excel, you can use the TODAY function. Type “=TODAY()” (without quotes) in a cell and press Enter. The cell will display the current date.