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How to make Excel stop converting my data to dates..??

Posted on 2016-09-05
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Last Modified: 2016-09-06
I'm working with the following source:  http://www.usatt.net/league/singles/match_records.asp

From that URL you will probably need to select a league from the drop-down and display its results.

This displays a table which includes a column for Won/Lost.  I'm selecting this table in the web browser and copy/pasting into Excel.  Everything is coming into its own cell nicely, but the Won/Lost column is getting converted to a date for some reason.  For example, it sees 4 - 2 as April 2nd.  

I've tried paste as text, paste as unicode, paste as html, but each do the same thing.  After the paste I tried to format the cells back to a "general" format but then it ends up with some very large number like 42587.  No idea where that comes from.

How can I get that data to paste in as-is and not convert anything?  Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
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Question by:Andrew Angell
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Assisted Solution

by:Stefan Hoffmann
Stefan Hoffmann earned 1000 total points
ID: 41785573
I had a similar issue a while ago. What helped me was to change the cells format to "text" _before_ copying the content into excel. Then paste the content.
Bildschirmfoto-2016-09-06-um-07.02.0.png
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Accepted Solution

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Subodh Tiwari (Neeraj) earned 1000 total points
ID: 41785576
Before pasting the data onto the sheet, format the columns as TEXT and then right click in A1 and under Paste Options, choose Match Destination Formatting.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Andrew Angell
ID: 41785582
Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Subodh Tiwari (Neeraj)
ID: 41785604
You're welcome Andrew!
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Expert Comment

by:Alex Smith
ID: 41785643
Hi Andrew,

Before pasting the data you must be select all the cell and follow the instruction as given in URL

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Stop-automatically-changing-numbers-to-dates-452bd2db-cc96-47d1-81e4-72cec11c4ed8

Let me know if your issue not resolved.

Regards
Alex
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 41785864
After the paste I tried to format the cells back to a "general" format but then it ends up with some very large number like 42587.  No idea where that comes from.

Excel deals with dates as a serial number based on a historical date of 01 Jan 1900 and dates are then a number of days since that date, so 42587 days after 01 Jan 1900 = 5 Aug 2016

Time is then handled as a decimal part of a day 0.25 = 6am, 0.5 = 12 noon, 0.75 = 6pm etc, ie 1/24 as a decimal for each hour.
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