How To Format Dates In Excel

To format dates in Excel, highlight the cells containing the dates, go to the Format Cells dialogue box, select “Date” under the Category section, and choose the desired date format.

In the world of data analysis and business reporting, Excel is king. With its powerful features and extensive functionality, it has become the go-to tool for managing and manipulating data. One common task that often arises is formatting dates. Whether you need to present dates in a specific format, calculate the difference between two dates, or extract the day of the week, Excel provides a range of options for handling date values. In this blog post, we will explore various techniques and functions to help you format dates in Excel with ease. So, if you’ve ever struggled with getting your dates to display exactly as you want, read on to discover some helpful tips and tricks.

How To Format Dates In Excel: Step-by-Step


Step 1: Select Your Cells

To format date data in an Excel spreadsheet, simply navigate to the spreadsheet, select the desired cells containing the dates by clicking and dragging over them.

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Step 2: Access Format Cells Menu

With the cells selected, right-click on one of them and choose the “Format Cells” option from the contextual menu that appears. In the “Format Cells” dialog box, you can modify various formatting settings such as number formats, font, alignment, and more.

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Step 3: Navigate to Date Category

In the Format Cells window, click on the “Number” tab if it is not selected by default. From there, select “Date” from the category list on the left-hand side. This option allows you to customize the formatting of date values in Excel to suit your needs.

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Step 4: Choose Your Date Format

On the right side of the Format Cells window, select the desired date format from the list. A preview of the formatted date will be shown in the “Sample” box above the format list.

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Step 5: Confirm Your Selection

After customizing the cell formatting, ensure your selection is saved by clicking on the “OK” button located at the bottom right corner of the Format Cells window.

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Step 6: Check for Correct Formatting

After selecting the cells, manually verify that the preferred date format has been correctly applied. Carefully examine each cell to ensure that the desired format is displayed accurately for all the dates.


In conclusion, knowing how to format dates in Excel is an essential skill that can greatly improve the accuracy and clarity of your data. By understanding the various formatting options available and utilizing the appropriate functions and formulas, you can ensure that your dates are displayed correctly and consistently across your spreadsheets.

In this blog post, we explored the different date formatting options in Excel, such as short and long date formats, custom formats, and using functions like TEXT and DATEVALUE. We also discussed how to handle date calculations and comparisons effectively.

Remember, proper date formatting not only enhances the visual appearance of your data but also enables you to manipulate and analyze it more efficiently. By using the techniques and tips mentioned in this article, you can ensure that your date-related tasks in Excel are streamlined and accurate.

So next time you find yourself manipulating dates in Excel, don’t forget to consider the formatting options and techniques discussed here. With a little bit of practice and experimentation, you’ll soon become a master at formatting dates and presenting your data in a professional and meaningful way. Happy Excel-ing!

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