Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
To Enter and Format the System Date
Click Format Cells on the shortcut
Format Cells
dialog box
When Excel displays the Format
Cells dialog box, if necessary, click
the Number tab.
Number tab
sample of date
in cell H2 using
selected format
Click Date in the Category list.
Scroll down in the Type list and
then click 3/14/2001 to display a
sample of the data in the active
cell (H2) using the selected format
in the Sample area (Figure 3–23).
Date category
desired format type
Figure 3–23
Click the OK button in the Format
Cells dialog box to display the sys-
tem date in the form mm/dd/yyyy
(Figure 3–24).
How does Excel format a date?
In Figure 3–24, the date is
displayed right-aligned in the cell
because Excel treats a date as a
number formatted to display as
a date. If you assign the General
format (Excel’s default format for
numbers) to a date in a cell, the
date is displayed as a number with
two decimal places. For example,
if the system time and date is 6:00
PM on December 28, 2007 and the
cell containing the NOW function is
assigned the General format, then Excel displays the following number in the cell:
Excel displays
system date with
mm/dd/yyyy format
Figure 3–24
Number of days since
time of day is 6:00 PM
Other Ways
1. On Formulas tab on
Ribbon, click Date &
Time, click NOW
(not a volatile date)
3. Press CTRL + SHIFT +#
to format date to
December 31, 1899
(portion of day complete)
The whole number portion of the number (39444) represents the number of days since
December 31, 1899. The decimal portion of the number (.75) represents 6:00 PM as the time
of day, at which point 3/4 of the day is complete. To assign the General format to a cell, click
General in the Category list in the Format Cells dialog box (Figure 3–23).
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