Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
For example, if you need to enter June 18, 2013, you can simply enter the date by typing June 18, 2013 (or use
any of several different date formats). Excel interprets your entry and stores the value 41078, which is the date
serial number for that date. Excel also applies one of several date formats depending on how the date is origin-
ally entered, so the cell contents may not appear exactly as you typed them.
Depending on your regional settings, entering a date in a format such as June 18, 2013
may be interpreted as a text string. In such a case, you would need to enter the date in
a format that corresponds to your regional settings, such as 18 June, 2013.
When you activate a cell that contains a date, the Formula bar shows the cell contents formatted using the de-
fault date format — which corresponds to your system's short date style. The Formula bar does not display the
date's serial number — which is inconsistent with other types of number formatting. If you need to find out the
serial number for a particular date, format the cell by using the General format.
To change the default date format, you need to change a system-wide setting. Access
the Windows Control Panel and choose Regional and Language Options. Then click the
Customize button to display the Customize Regional Options dialog box. Select the
Date tab. The selected item for the Short date style format determines the default date
format used by Excel.
Table 6-1 shows a sampling of the date formats that Excel recognizes (using the U.S. settings). Results will vary
if you use a different regional setting. The displayed data assumes that the cell contains no numeric formatting.
Table 6-1: Date Entry Formats Recognized by Excel
Entry
Excel's Interpretation (U.S. Settings)
What Excel Displays
6-18-13
June 18, 2013
Windows short date
6-18-2013
June 18, 2013
Windows short date
6/18/13
June 18, 2013
Windows short date
6/18/2013
June 18, 2013
Windows short date
6-18/13
June 18, 2013
Windows short date
June 18, 2013 June 18, 2013
18-Jun-13
Jun 18
June 18 of the current year
18-Jun
 
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