Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Excel 2016 cell format issue

Posted on 2016-07-15
Last Modified: 2016-08-11
"I now use Excel 2016) whereby when I open a file I have already worked on (even same day) the format in cell is changing from ‘general’ to date. " 
What is the cause of this problem and how can it be rectified?
Question by:agwalsh
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:Ingeborg Hawighorst
ID: 41711841

are you quoting somebody else? Can you supply a sample file that shows the problem?

Author Comment

ID: 41711879
Yes, we did it over a screen share, I could see that sequence happening on her screen but when I did exactly the same thing, it incremented by days...any ideas?
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 41711890
Background: OP wants to copy down dates, incrementing in years instead of days: https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28957642/Copy-down-dates-in-Excel-incrementing-by-years-not-days.html
Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 41712611

have you tried to put the date using Genaral cell format but also adding a single quote in front of date value?

Normally, that should keep the cell format to general.

Author Comment

ID: 41712641
@Wilder1626 - the person who asked me doesn't see (and to be honest neither do I) why if you enter data in general format it should decide to just change to date...any ideas?
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Wilder1626 earned 500 total points
ID: 41712682
It normally change format automatically if a value inside a cell match a certain Excel format logic.

Date is an example. even if you enter in a general format cell a "date", if the date value represent an official date format in excel, it will force the cell to the real format unless you enter a single quote at the beginning, as an example, to break the official date format.

To really force Excel to not convert your cell to date format would be to put the cell format to TEXT or add the single quote at the beginning of the value.

Excel realities...

Other thing to know about:
Excel likes to format thing also when opening. You can see this just by trying to open a csv file format into excel. If for example you have numbers with leading zero's (ex: 00123456) if open in excel, it format the number as general without the leading zero's (123456). It does not keep the same value format.

Wiki: CSV is a simple file format used to store tabular data, such as a spreadsheet or database. Files in the CSV format can be imported to and exported from programs that store data in tables, such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc. CSV stands for "comma-separated values".

Author Comment

ID: 41720293
This person is an experienced Excel user and she's only experienced this since installing Excel 2016. Again, any ideas?
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

Wilder1626 earned 500 total points
ID: 41720897
What you can try  is below option.

If all cells are General in your excel file, select a couple of cells where you have the dates in it and force the general formatting just by following these few steps:

Click on HOME tab and select CELL STYLES
Then, Right click on NORMAL and select MODIFY

Then, click on FORMAT button

Finally in the NUMBER tab, re select the GENERAL format and click OK

Then, close the excel file and try to open it again and tell me if it did fixed the problem.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41751656
The problem got solved or at least semi-resolved in another way..but thank you

Featured Post

Free Tool: Postgres Monitoring System

A PHP and Perl based system to collect and display usage statistics from PostgreSQL databases.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Introduction While answering a recent question (http:/Q_27311462.html), I created an alternative function to the Excel Concatenate() function that you might find useful.  I tested several solutions and share the results in this article as well as t…
Freeze panes is an option within all variants of Excel to enable parts of a sheet to remain stationary when the cursor is in another part of the sheet. This is a very useful feature which is overlooked or under used.
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate how to use longer labels with horizontal bar charts instead of the vertical column chart.
Although Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705) has been credited as the creator of "Binomial Distribution Table", Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) did his dissertation on the subject in 1666; Leibniz you may recall is the co-inventor of "Calculus" and beat Isaac…

860 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question