Excel Tip: Change Default Date Style

You may try to enter September 22, 2000 as 9/22/00, but Excel has other ideas about how the date should be displayed. Whether you prefer the style of 22.9.00, 9/22/2000, 9-22, or something completely different, you can leave specific instructions for how your dates should appear.

The style that Excel uses to display your date is actually controlled outside of Excel, in the Windows Control Panel.

Follow these steps to customize the default date style to your liking:

  1. Click the Start button on your Taskbar and choose Settings, Control Panel.

  2. Double-click on the Regional Settings icon, and the Regional Settings Properties window will appear.

  3. Click the Date tab, and you will see an indicator for Short date style. This is where Excel is getting its standard setting for displaying the date.

  4. Choose from several short date styles available in the drop-down list. If the style you prefer is not on the list, choose a style that is close to what you want, then make any changes you want. For example, you can make a two-digit year into four digits by changing the "yy" to "yyyy" or you can substitute dashes or periods for the slashes that separate the month from the day and year.

  5. While here, you can customize the Long date style in the same manner.

  6. Click OK when you have finished entering your preferred date style(s).

You may like these other stories...

Earlier this week I presented the Chart Edition of AccountingWEB’s High Impact Excel webinar series. One of the many topics I covered was the Sparklines feature, which was first introduced in Excel 2010. Several...
On January 30, I led a free, one-hour webinar, High Impact Excel: Pivot Table Edition. If you missed the presentation, it’s too late to get CPE credit, but you can watch an on-demand recording. After the webinar, I...
By David Ringstrom, CPA In Part 1 of this series I showed how to use a custom number format to conditionally display decimal places. Although the technique is simple, the downside is it may not work in every situation....

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.