Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Data in a Worksheet
Entering date and time values
Dates and times can be used in calculations, but entering a date or time
value in a cell can be problematic because these values must be entered in
such a way that Excel can recognize them as dates or times, not text.
Not that you necessarily need to know it, but Excel converts dates and times
to serial values for the purpose of being able to use dates and times in
calculations. For example, July 31, 2004, is the number 38199. July 31, 2004, at
Noon is 38199.5. These serial values represent the number of whole days
since January 1, 1900. The portion of the serial value to the right of the
decimal point is the time, represented as a portion of a full day.
Entering date values
You can enter a date value in a cell in just about any format you choose, and
Excel understands that you’re entering a date. For example, enter a date in
any of the following formats and you’ll be all right:
yy
7/31/13
-yyyy
7-31-2013
-mmm yy
31-Jul-13
Here are some basic things to remember about entering dates:
Date formats: You can quickly apply a format to dates by selecting cells
and using one of these techniques:
• OntheHometab,opentheNumberFormatdrop-downlistand
choose Short Date ( /yyyy ; 7/31/2013) or Long Date ( day of the
week, month, day, year; Wednesday, July 31, 2013), as shown in
Figure 1-5.
• OntheHometab,clicktheNumbergroupbuttontoopenthe
Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box. As shown in Figure 1-5,
choose the Date category and then choose a date format.
Current date: Press Ctrl+; (semicolon) to enter the current date.
Current year’s date: If you don’t enter the year as part of the date, Excel
assumes that the date you entered is in the current year. For example,
if you enter a date in the m/d (7/31) format during the year 2013, Excel
enters the date as 7/31/13. As long as the date you want to enter is the
current year, you can save a little time when entering dates by not
entering the year because Excel enters it for you.
 
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