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MS Excel 2010 - Format Column As Date

Posted on 2013-06-19
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Last Modified: 2013-06-24
I exported data to an xls file.  When I open the file in Excel I am trying to format a column.  I clicked on the column and changed it from General to Short Date.  I need the date to be correct so it will sort correctly.

However, changing column to short date does not resolve it.  Date 4/9/13 is between 4/30/13 and 5/10/13.  When I try to change 4/9/13 to 4/09/13 it displays instead 41373.469583333.

Any ideas?
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Question by:CipherIS
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12 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39259695
41373.469583333. is an Excel serial number representing date and time.

If you right-click and choose Format|Cells, then in the Number tab, select Data and choose your format... it should give you the date.
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Author Comment

by:CipherIS
ID: 39259794
I did what you suggested prior to posting.  It did not work.  I changed the date to display as 04/09/13 but its displays 4/9/13 11:16:12 AM
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39259808
What about choosing Custom format and entering type:  m/dd/yyyy
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Author Comment

by:CipherIS
ID: 39259822
Nope - did not work
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39259871
If you are not using an English version of Excel, it could be different than m/dd/yyyy depending on your language.

otherwise, I can't see why it doesn't work, if you have 41373.469583333 and can format to show 4/9/13 11:16:12 AM , then you should be able to custom format it with m/dd/yyy.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:CipherIS
ID: 39259949
I have the English version of Excel.  The date shows up  4/9/13 11:16:12 AM.  When I make a change then it converts to 41373.469583333.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39260005
The only thing I can guess is that it is trying to "guess" the format based on adjacent columns.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39260034
Try going to Excel Options, then Advanced, and on the right side, from near top uncheck the "Extend list formats and formulas" checkbox
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:CipherIS
ID: 39260279
That didn't work either.
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Accepted Solution

by:
CipherIS earned 0 total points
ID: 39260283
I resolved it.  What I did was I saved the spreadsheet as a text file.  Then I imported the text file.  Go figure.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:NBVC
ID: 39260292
Yes, strange, there must have been so stuck setting or something... but good that it is resolved.

I am not sure if you tried it on other workbooks to see if it was that specific workbook or not...
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Author Closing Comment

by:CipherIS
ID: 39270694
I resolved it by saving as text then importing to excel
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