Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering dates and times
Using the 1904 date system
Whereas all PCs and some Macintoshes use 1900 as the base year for computing
serial date values, the Macintosh used 1904 for much of its history. (The Macintosh
debuted in 1984 with Apple’s legendary Orwellian TV ad that aired only once, during
the Super Bowl.) Or maybe it was because 1900 was not a leap year. (It’s a long story
about the programming of calendar systems and the calculation of leap years…Bing
it.) If you transfer documents between Excel for the Macintosh and Excel for Windows,
the proper date system for the worksheet is automatically set for you. When the date
system changes, existing serial date values display different dates, but the underlying
values do not change. But if you change date systems after you start entering dates in a
worksheet, all your dates will be off by four years.
You can change the base date (the date that corresponds to the serial value ) from 1
January 1, 1900 to January 2, 1904. Click the File tab, click Options, select the Advanced
category, and then select the Use 1904 Date System check box in the When Calculating
This Workbook area.
When you select this check box, the serial date values in your worksheet remain the
same, but the display of all dates changes so that the serial values of any dates you
enter on your Excel for Windows worksheets match corresponding serial values from
Excel for the Macintosh worksheets. If you transfer information into Excel for Windows
from a worksheet created in Excel for the Macintosh, selecting this option ensures
that Excel evaluates the serial date values correctly. In this topic, we use the 1900 date
system.
Entering dates and times
Although Excel records dates and times as serial date values, you don’t have to type them
that way. You can manipulate dates and times in your worksheet formulas just as you
manipulate other types of values. You enter date values in formats that Excel
automatically applies. To enter date values in this way, type the date in one of the following formats:
m/d/yy, d-mmm-yy, d-mmm, or mmm-yy. (You can also type four-digit years for any of
these formats.)
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