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How to Convert Dates in Excel?

Are you trying to figure out how to convert dates in Excel? Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application that allows you to easily manipulate your data. It also offers a wide range of features to help you quickly and accurately convert dates. In this guide, we will take a look at how to use Excel to convert dates to different formats, as well as how to perform a few more advanced date conversion tricks. Let’s get started!

How to Convert Dates in Excel?

How to Convert Dates in Excel?

The Basics of Date Formatting

Dates in Excel are stored as numbers and can be formatted to display different date systems. Dates are stored as numbers in Excel, with each date having its own sequential number. For example, the date 1/1/2020 is stored as 43831, and 12/31/2020 is stored as 43931. This means that when you enter a date into a cell, Excel knows it is a date and can format it accordingly. To change the formatting of a date, you can use the Format Cells dialog box.

In the Format Cells dialog box, you can select a variety of different date formats. For example, you can choose a long date format (e.g. Friday, January 1, 2020), a short date format (e.g. 1/1/2020), or a custom date format (e.g. dd/mm/yyyy). You can also choose to display time in the date format, or to display the day of the week or the month name.

Once you have chosen the desired date format, you can simply click OK to apply the formatting to the selected cell or cells. The date will be converted to the new format and will remain in that format until you manually change it.

Converting from a Text Format

If you have a date in a text format (e.g. January 1, 2020), you can convert it to a date format in Excel. To do this, first select the cell or cells that contain the text date. Then go to the Data tab, and click the Text to Columns button. This will open the Convert Text to Columns Wizard. Select the Delimited option, and then click Next.

In the next step of the wizard, select the Other option, and then type a slash (/) in the box. This will tell Excel to use the slash as the delimiter for the date. Then click Next, and then Finish. The text date will be converted to a date format (e.g. 1/1/2020).

Converting from a Number Format

If you have a date in a number format (e.g. 43831), you can convert it to a date format in Excel. To do this, first select the cell or cells that contain the number date. Then go to the Home tab, and click the Number Format dropdown. This will open a list of different number formats. Select the Date option, and then choose the desired date format. The number date will be converted to the new date format.

Using Date Functions in Excel

Excel has several built-in functions that can be used to work with dates. The most commonly used date functions are the TODAY() and NOW() functions. The TODAY() function returns the current date, and the NOW() function returns the current date and time.

Converting from a Date Function

If you have used a date function in a cell (e.g. TODAY()), you can convert it to a date format in Excel. To do this, first select the cell or cells that contain the date function. Then go to the Home tab, and click the Number Format dropdown. This will open a list of different number formats. Select the Date option, and then choose the desired date format. The date function will be converted to the new date format.

Using Date Formulas in Excel

Excel also has several built-in formulas that can be used to work with dates. The most commonly used date formulas are the DATEVALUE() and YEAR() functions. The DATEVALUE() function converts a text date (e.g. January 1, 2020) into a date format (e.g. 1/1/2020), while the YEAR() function returns the year of a given date.

Using Macros in Excel

Macros are small programs that can be used to automate repetitive tasks in Excel. You can create a macro to convert dates from one format to another. To do this, first create a new macro by going to the Developer tab and clicking the Record Macro button.

Creating a Date Conversion Macro

Once the macro has been created, you can add the code to convert the date. To do this, you will need to use the Format() function. The Format() function takes two parameters: the date you want to convert, and the desired date format.

For example, if you want to convert a date stored in cell A1 from a long date format (e.g. Friday, January 1, 2020) to a short date format (e.g. 1/1/2020), you would use the following code:

Format(A1, “m/d/yyyy”)

Once you have added the code, you can click the Stop Recording button to save the macro. You can then use the macro to quickly convert dates from one format to another.

Conclusion

Converting dates in Excel is a fairly straightforward process, and there are several different methods you can use. You can use the Format Cells dialog box, the Text to Columns Wizard, date functions, date formulas, or macros to convert dates from one format to another.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Date in Excel?

A date in Excel is a numerical value that represents a particular day of the year. Excel stores dates as sequential numbers, so January 1, 1900 is stored as 1, January 2, 1900 is stored as 2, and so on. This number is called a serial date-time, and it can be used in calculations and data analysis.

What is the Default Format for Dates in Excel?

The default format for dates in Excel is the short date format. This format displays dates as month/day/year, such as 01/02/2021. Other formats, such as long date (for example, Tuesday, January 2, 2021) and custom formats, can also be used.

How Do I Convert Dates in Excel?

To convert dates in Excel, you can use the TEXT function. This function allows you to convert a date into a text string in a specific format. For example, the formula =TEXT(A1,”dd/mm/yyyy”) will convert the date in cell A1 into the format dd/mm/yyyy.

What is the Difference Between Date and Text Formats?

The main difference between date and text formats is that dates are stored as numbers in Excel, while text is stored as characters. This means that dates can be used in mathematical calculations, while text cannot. It also means that dates must be converted to text in order to be displayed in a specific format.

What is the Difference Between the DATEVALUE and VALUE Functions?

The DATEVALUE function converts a text string that represents a date into a date value, while the VALUE function converts any type of value into a number. The VALUE function can convert dates that are already stored as numbers, while the DATEVALUE function can only convert text strings.

How Do I Convert Text Strings to Dates?

To convert text strings to dates in Excel, you can use the DATEVALUE function. This function takes a text string that represents a date and converts it into an Excel date value. For example, the formula =DATEVALUE(“2/1/2021”) will convert the text string “2/1/2021” into the date value 41,722.

Excel date conversion

In conclusion, understanding the basics of how to convert dates in Excel is an essential skill for anyone who wants to work with data in a spreadsheet. Excel offers a variety of tools and methods for converting dates, and with a little practice and patience, you can become an expert at using them. Whether you are a novice or a professional, Excel can help you accurately and efficiently make date conversions.