Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering dates
number (which it uses for calculations), and it also applies the default date format to the
cell so that it displays as an actual date rather than as a cryptic serial number.
For example, if you need to enter June 18, 2013 into a cell, you can enter the date by
typing June 18, 2013 (or any of several different date formats). Excel interprets your entry
and stores the value 41443, the date serial number for that date. It also applies the default
date format, 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 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 by using the default date format — which corresponds to your system’s short date
format. The Formula bar doesn’t display the date’s serial number. If you need to fi nd out the
serial number for a particular date, format the cell with a nondate number format.
To change the default date format, you need to change a systemwide setting. In Windows Control Panel, select Clock,
Language, and Region. Under Region, click Change date, time, or number formats. On the Formats tab of the Region
dialog box, change the Short Date Format, and click OK. (This procedure may vary if you’re running office on a
supported Windows Server version rather than Windows 7 or 8.) The setting you choose determines the default date
format that Excel uses to display dates in the Formula bar.
Table 16.1 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.
TABLE 16.1 Date Entry Formats Recognized by Excel
Excel Interpretation (U.S. Settings)
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013
Jun 18
June 18 of the current year
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