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Date formatting

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-06
It's that time of year, right? I'm working on a spreadsheet of expenses during 2013, and I can't figure out if there's an easy way to make my date column show 2013 when I enter 2/17 for February 17; Excel automatically wants to enter the date as 2/17/14.

Thanks!

ep
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Question by:Eric AKA Netminder
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 800 total points
ID: 39761013
I have the same issue. Natively in Excel you cannot change this feature so far as I know.

1. I have grown used to typing 12/28/2013 in my date fields in 2014.

2. If you have a lot of rows (say) with dates, enter them, then select them, Replace 2014 with 2013.

Please do not change your system clock or anything like that.

December 31 is my year-end as well.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Fowler
ID: 39761039
You could also use autofill to enter the dates. Just manually enter the first correctly and drag down from the bottom right corner.

Michael
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Accepted Solution

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Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE) earned 1200 total points
ID: 39761043
Hello,

omitting the year portion in a date entry will always default to the current year in Excel.

In addition to TPU's suggestion, you could create a helper column with a formula that shows the desired date. For example, with column A receiving entries like

12/31

and making them into a 2014 date, use a formula in column B to display 2013 dates:

=date(2013,month(a1),day(a1))

Once you're done with data entry for 2013, copy column B, paste as values over column A and then discard column B.

cheers, teylyn
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Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 39761045
thinkpads_user,

Thanks, but that's what I'm trying to avoid.

Michael,

Good idea, but it won't work. The autofill leaves each row as a single date:

2/17/12
2/18/12
2/19/12
...
6/13/12
6/17/12

The problem is that I can have several entries on one date, which means I would have to change the dates as I went along (this spreadsheet will wind up being close to 1000 lines).

So autofill won't work as a solution.

ep
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39761049
Part 2 of my suggestion was to use Select and Replace. This means working carefully but it does work.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 39761087
teylyn,

I assume this means that there's no formatting trick that can change it, correct? Like setting the format to mm/dd/2013?

ep
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LVL 50
ID: 39761118
Weeeeeellll. You CAN format with custom format

mm/dd"/2013"

and Excel will display 2013 as the year, BUT I strongly recommend not to do that. I don't think formatting a number to show a different value is ever a good idea (exception for rounding).
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Author Closing Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
ID: 39761144
I used teylyn's solution, but thinkpad_user's solution also works.

Thanks to both of you for your prompt, accurate replies.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39761149
You are most welcome and I was happy to help. I face the very same issues every year-end!

Cheers, .... Thinkpads_User
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