Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Dates—The Long and the Short of It
Figure 4–77. The Currency format
An d y ou’ l l be happy to kn ow we ’ v e al r e ady di scusse d Accounting .
Dates—The Long and the Short of It
But we’ve yet to discuss the next two formatting alternatives— Short Date and Long Date , whi ch do
require a bit of elaboration. In order to appreciate how Excel formats dates, you need to know that at
bottom, a date i s a se que n ce d number . And the sequence starts with January 1, 1900, a date to which
Excel assigns the numerical value of 1. Any post-January 1, 1900 date you enter in any cell in effect
supplies a count of the number of days that have elapsed between itself and that day 1. Thus May 4,
1972 superimposes a date format over the number 26423.00—the number of days stretching in time
from the baseline January 1, 1900 to May 4, 1972 . Put otherwise, May 4, 1972 really is 26423.
As a way of corroborating this point, you’ll note that when you click on a cell containing
numerical data—say 34567—and click the Number Format down arrow, you’ll see something like this
(Figure 4–78):
Figure 4–78. Mark that date
 
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