Changing the date format in Excel

If you have a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel that includes dates, you may find that the date format is not quite what you want. Perhaps the month is listed before the day, or the year is listed in only two digits instead of four. Luckily, it’s easy to change the date format in Excel to suit your needs.

To begin, select the cells in your spreadsheet that contain the dates you want to change. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells, or by using the Ctrl + Shift keys to select multiple cells.

Next, right-click on one of the selected cells and select “Format Cells” from the dropdown menu. This will open the Format Cells dialog box.

In the Format Cells dialog box, select the “Number” tab and choose “Date” from the Category list. This will bring up a list of available date formats.

To change the order of the day, month, and year, look for a date format that includes “d,” “m,” and “y” in that order. For example, “d/m/yy” would display the date as day/month/year with a two-digit year. To display the month before the day, choose a format that includes “m” before “d,” such as “m/d/yy.”

Custom Formats

You can also use the “Custom” category to create your own date format. To do this, type the desired format in the “Type” field using the codes for day (“d”), month (“m”), and year (“y”). For example, to display the date as month-day-year, you would enter “mm-dd-yy.”

Once you have chosen your desired date format, click “OK” to apply the change to your selected cells. The dates in your spreadsheet should now be displayed in the new format.

It’s important to note that changing the format of a cell does not actually change the underlying value of the date. It only changes the way the date is displayed. This means that if you sort your spreadsheet by date, the dates will still be sorted in their original order, regardless of the format you have chosen to display them in.


In summary, changing the date format in Excel is a simple process that allows you to customize the way dates are displayed in your spreadsheet. Whether you want to change the order of the day, month, and year or create your own custom format, it’s easy to do with the Format Cells dialog box.

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