Date Format in Excel

Excel Date Format

In excel we have different types of formats available for numbers, text and even dates, for date we have many inbuilt formats or we can customize our own format which excels can recognize, also there are various function in worksheet and VBA which are used to make any random date to a recognizable format to excel, In excel date format can be accessed from the number option in home tab or the format option from the right-click to a cell.

Excel stores date as serial numbers, and according to the format given by the user, it will display the date in the excel. The date is the one thing that leads to much confusion because it can be formatted in many ways. Having in-depth knowledge about dates is a great skill to have in your resume.

Excel can store the date from 01st Jan 1900; anything you try to store before this date, excel will not recognize any dates prior to this date.

  1. Assume you have number 1 in the cell.


    Excel Date Format Step 1

  2. Apply date format to it and see what the result will be.


    Excel Date Format Step 2

  3. Select the above date format, and you will see the date as 01 January 1900.


    Excel Date Format Step 3

Similarly, 2 will be formatted as 02 January 1900, and 3 will be formatted as 03 January 1900. This is the basis of date format in excel.

You can download this Change Date Format Excel Template here – Change Date Format Excel Template

#1 – How to Change Date Format in Excel?

We can change the date format as per our wish. Take the below data for the demonstration purpose.

change Date Format Step 1

Now we need to change the format to something like this 25 February 2018. So follow the below steps.

Step 1: Select all the dates first.

change Date Format Step 2

Step 2: Right-click and select Format Excel Cells, or else you can press Ctrl + 1 as the shortcut key.

change Date Format Step 3

Step 3: You will see the below window now.

change Date Format Step 4

Step 4: Now go to Custom.

change Date Format Step 5

Step 5: Right now, we have the dd-mm-yyyy format. So change this to dd-mmmm-yyyy.

excel date format example 2.5

Step 6: After the above format is applied, click on Ok option. We will have results like this now.

excel date format example 2.6

#2 – Different Types of Date Formats

Format 1: Like this, we can change the date format however we want. Now apply the below code to see the result as 25-Feb-2018.

Code: dd-mmm-yyyy

excel date format example 3.9

We have a result like this now.

excel date format example 3.10

Format 2: Now apply the code dd mmm yyyy to have a date without separators.

Code: dd mm yyyy

excel date format example 3.3

The result will be as follows.

excel date format example 3.4

Format 3: Like how we can show full month name, similarly, we can also show day with respective day name with the short name and full name.

excel date format example 3.5

The result will be as follows.

excel date format example 3.6

Format 4: In order to have a full day and full month, the code is “dddd mmmm yyyy.”

excel date format example 3.7

The result will be as follows.

excel date format example 3.8

We have seen how date format changes in excel according to the format given by the user.

Below are the codes and their result.

Day Code:

excel date format example 4.1

Month Code:

excel date format example 4.2

Year Code:

excel date format example 4.3

#3 – How to Fix Date Errors in Excel?

We have learned the dynamics of date format in excel. Sometimes when we download the data from the web, we usually don’t get to see the exact date format as we wanted; we need to fix those errors.

If the date is formatted as TEXT, then we don’t see accurate dates.

format as text example 5.1

In order to fix this issue, we have several methods to excel. Apply the VALUE Excel function to get the serial number from this text formatted dates.

VALUE function converts the text looking number to an actual number.

convert to number example 5.2

VALUE function returns the result as serial numbers. Now apply a date format to have proper dates.

apply format example 5.3

Now we have proper dates.

result example 5.4

Sometimes when we download the data from the web, we usually don’t get the proper date format; one such case is the date with the backslash.

date data example 6.1

Step 1: Press Ctrl + H to open FIND & REPLACE Excel dialogue box.

find & replace example 6.2

Step 2: In the Find what: box type backslash (). And in Replace with: enter forward-slash (/).

find & replace example 6.3

Step 4: Click on Replace All, we will have results like this.

replace example 6.4

Things to Remember

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This has been a guide to Date Format in Excel. Here we discuss how to change and custom format Dates in Excel with practical examples and a downloadable excel template. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –

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