Excel Date Format Strings

Excel treats them as numbers and strips off. So with a little investigation, it turns out that “short date” (and “medium date” and “long date”) relate to the specified system methods of expressing dates found in the regional settings. When writing dates to a word document you could specify a specific format. Select the cell(s) containing the dates you want to format. convert date from string to date format Data>Text to columns>Next>Next>Column Data Format>Date>YMD and Finish. We specify numeric formats, date formats and even padding. To change the format of a date value, select the cell and then open the Format Cells dialog box. How MS Excel Interprets Year Portion of the Date Entered as a String or Text. Formating Rules for Connection Strings Connection Strings Explained Store Connection String in Web. Copy that cell, then re-select the date cells, and then use paste special, with Value and Multiply as the options. Hello, I have a varchar(20) field that includes a date in this format: "mm/dd/yyyy" I'm trying to import it into Excel, so that Excel recognizes it as a date (since simply changing the format on the fields doesn't work. after date formatting, want to close sheet and file. So what I am looking for is the formula to calculate the number representation of a date (the one you see if you format a date as a number). Take a look …. I cover formatting dates to different styles, as well as Excel date formulas to calculate and work with dates. Convert yyyymmdd to date in excel - Forum - Excel Convert number to words in excel 2007 indian rupees formula - Forum - Office Software This document, titled "Excel- Convert the date format into general format ," is available under the Creative Commons license. Thanks for all taking time and helping. That would open up the format cell option box. I want date in a dd/mm/yyyy format with validation in TextBox. I understand why Excel is trying to format the field into a more readable format, but I'd rather keep the value as october51 since it's someone's username. For example, 01/05/12 could mean January 5, 2012, or May 1, 2012. If I convert those cells to text then it coverts the cells from date strings to integers for the date info and from time strings to floating point numbers for time info. You should get it as an object of a type representing a date. Excel has many functions to offer when it comes to manipulating text strings. The DATE_FORMAT command assigns a format template to the definition of an object that has a DATETIME, TIMESTAMP, TIMESTAMP_TZ, TIMESTAMP_LTZ, DSINTERVAL, or YMINTERVAL data type. 45312 (it does the same thing in Excel if i convert the box to string from date) Does anyone know how I can keep the date in string format but so it looks exactly like how a date should display instead of the integer above. In my logs that is pulled into Splunk the time is recorded as datetime="2015-08-13 01:43:38". Excel does not have a currency value datatype, currency values are stored as doubles. 2 part section >> Excel VBA and User Forms. In MySQL, DATE_FORMAT function converts a DATE or DATETIME value to string using the specified format. Is there a built-in function in Spotfire to take a Date or DateTime and format it as a string, based on a format string? For example something like, Format([MyDateOrDateTimeColumn], "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss") Additionally, how does one avoid the regional settings when using the Month or Hour functions?. Additional. vi to display the date in the dd/mm/yyyy format:. This is another method which you can use to extract day name from a date. Using the Format Function to Format an Expression: Format(expression[, format[, firstdayofweek[, firstweekofyear]]]) 5. from your c# application. See the formatting options below. 2? Is this corrected? Any help is appreciated. SimpleDateFormat allows you to start by choosing any user-defined patterns for date. Working with date and time values often requires an ability to convert these values into string values in a particular format. We do neither guarantee for accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of information on this blog nor be liable for any errors in this information or any damages arising from its use. To convert a text date in a cell to a serial number, use the DATEVALUE function. Hi All, String is in following format: 2006-12-07 i. Dear Friend, I am new in ASP. Format time as mmmm_yyyy : Date Format « Date Functions « VBA / Excel / Access / Word. The DateTime data type is used to work with date and times in C#. This next article discusses Converting string or numeric time values into date format. If I take the suggestion to format the cells as text before hand Excel just overrides that formatting and does a date conversion on the text string. DateTime object and pass it to Excel using the DateTime. Value), "dd/mm/yyyy") datestr2 = Format(CDate(Ran. Summary: This is a Java SimpleDateFormat (date formatting) example, showing how to convert a Java String to a Date. If I convert those cells to text then it coverts the cells from date strings to integers for the date info and from time strings to floating point numbers for time info. For example for parsing or generating a CSV file on a French system the following format will be used:. Excel does not have a currency value datatype, currency values are stored as doubles. This is where the TEXT function is invaluable, because it allows you to force Excel to format the values the way you want by using a format code, like "MM/DD/YY" for date format. format is optional. Whether you've imported data from another spreadsheet or database, or are merely entering due dates for your monthly bills, Excel can easily format most date styles. XlsxWriter is a Python module that can be used to write text, numbers, formulas and hyperlinks to multiple worksheets in an Excel 2007+ XLSX file. html vba vbscript difference (image) "Cells Whose Contents Are. Characters used to create User-Defined Date & Time Formats with the. If stored in a numeric format, xlsread returns a numeric date. A brief introduction to strings, including information on what a string is an how to use it within an Excel function. Named Numeric Formats. I would recommend using YYMMDD10 format since there will not be any confusing the month and the day part that might happen if you use MMDDYY10 or DDMMYY10. VBA Excel: Examples of Date and Time Formatting Using the Format Function. 2? Is this corrected? Any help is appreciated. If you want to include ExcelNumberFormat in your project, you can install it directly from NuGet. Note that the DATE_FORMAT and TO_CHAR use different format strings. There should be at least as many of these arguments as the number of values specified in the format specifiers. Hi, I'm writing a sensor data log in a SD Card to use it in a Excel spreadsheet afterwards, and one of the info is the current time. The custom format feature in Excel allows the user to "paint" or mask a number, text, date or time value in a user defined custom format. DateFormat class, and its concrete subclass java. Try to change the Number Format for a date in Excel. Using CHOOSE function Get Day Name. The VBA Format function formats a string as according to the provided format. Now I want to convert this date i. A key difference with the Data Bar format is it shows on all cells as opposed to ones that meet a specific condition. 0/95 and later1. I can't make excel accept the file otherwise. While a thorough discussion of TEXT is a discussion for another post, you should be aware of two format. Following are the predefined date and time format names. Net with c#. I think the problem may be rooted in the format of the file you are. The date() function returns the date in this format: YYYY-MM-DD. ” While the Data Model, introduced in Excel 2013, and CONCATENATEX provide a solution, these calculations are only available in Windows versions of Excel. Format of Deposit Slip. Organizing meetings and deliveries, writing contracts and buying airplane tickets can be very difficult when the date is unclear. Text = Date End Sub It prints the current date to the document: We can change the way the date is output using the code. Lets work through this formula section by section and see what is going on. The safest way to type a date is to use slashes (/) as separators between day, month and year. If the latter is the case, and (I cannot see why not), it is better to let excel take carte of the formatting and input and forget about the format. In the previous lesson, you used the Conditional Operators. To convert the date time from Unix format to Excel format I use the known formula that for a Unix Timestamp equal to 1462420139 I get 42495. Excel’s DATEVALUE function converts a data text into a numeric representation of a date:. To declare a date, use the Dim statement. How to open a CSV file in Excel to fix date and other formatting issues Tony Roma Exporting CSV files from Insightly produces a file with standard U. TryParseExact if you don't need exception in case of format incorrect but you can check the return value of that method to identify whether parsing value success or not. Here's another option. I have a procedure which reconciles text strings. In VBA Format Date function you have the option to either define your own format or use some of the MS Excel predefined format. To see the full set of format codes supported on your platform, consult the strftime(3) documentation. Excel treats them as numbers and strips off. SimpleDateFormat is a concrete class for formatting and parsing dates in a locale-sensitive manner. YYYY/MM/DD (example: Ontario driver's licenses) DD/MM/YYYY (example: Canadian Passports*) As someone who grew up in Canada close to the American boarder, for informal dates (sc. Re: Apply bold font format to specific part of text string. This will change the way Excel handles the cell data from the date format mentioned above to a simple text string. All string values are enclosed with double quotation(“”) marks. In all of these conversions you end up with a date serial number that can be changed to a Date by modifying the cell formatting. It allows for formatting (date -> text), parsing (text -> date), and normalization. This function returns the value of a string, up to the first nonnumeric character. Having dates in a ComboBox or ListBox in Excel VBA can be a real teaser, because VBA changes the date format, and that may not be the way you want the dates displayed. Although, Excel has it’s own formats for the data but You can define your own [Format] too. I often use this function to show the day of the week beside a column of dates. They produce string representations of date and time values that are intended to be identical across cultures. Excel has a lot of built-in number formats, but sometimes you need something specific. For example, see Convert Date String from Custom Format. Excel documents can be from computers using different regional settings without any problem. The problem im having is due to both the default namespace and alias ss: namespace is the same. If you want to include ExcelNumberFormat in your project, you can install it directly from NuGet. However, if you want to use a different format for the date, such as using periods instead of slashes (3. Hi Community, I need help with yet another date formating issue where I am struggling. Well, there is no such custom format for date in Excel However it can be achieved indirectly, with helper cell :) Let's take a look at the available date formats in Excel: As shown above, there are many different "numeric" and "textual" expressions for Day (e. Working with date and time values often requires an ability to convert these values into string values in a particular format. Gord Dibben MS Excel MVP. If you want to convert Time data from Excel, and store it in a shapefile, you will need to save it to a Text field. How to convert text to date and number to date in Excel by Svetlana Cheusheva | updated on September 18, 2019 268 Comments The tutorial explains how to use Excel functions to convert text to date and number to date, and how to turn text strings into dates in a non-formula way. If the latter is the case, and (I cannot see why not), it is better to let excel take carte of the formatting and input and forget about the format. In Excel, the normal representation is a floating point number, where the integer part is the days that can be rendered as years, months, and days, and the fractional part is the fraction of a day that can be rendered as hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. Excel has a lot of built-in number formats, but sometimes you need something specific. MATLAB imports date fields from Excel files in the format in which they were stored in the Excel file. And TIMESTAMPS too. To do that, I can use the strftime() method that does the opposite of what we just did. Can I achieve this in reformat component. Date: -Returns the number that represent the date in Microsoft Excel date-time code. I find that this can be distracting. Format Dates Using Excel VBA: Example. A standard date and time format string uses a single format specifier to define the text representation of a date and time value. Here we will learn how we can concatenate string in MS-Excel. Excel Sheet (After Applying Conditional Formatting on only Numeric Values in Excel) Must Read: Conditional Formatting : Only Text Entries in Excel. The Look and Feel page allows you to customize the way times and dates are presented to users throughout the JIRA user interface. For example, you may be required to show a line in your report that summarizes a salesperson's results, like this:. NET date format specifiers. Trying different cell formats in Excel. How to format an Excel file using C# When programming with Microsoft Office Excel, you can interact with the objects provided by the Excel object model. My problem is kind of weird. Text(Date,"[$-040C]mmm") 'Result: "janv. And, this method is more flexible. Example 3 - Format VBA Strings. All dates are in fact numbers in Excel, just displayed with formatting that makes them appear as dates to humans. YYYY/MM/DD (example: Ontario driver's licenses) DD/MM/YYYY (example: Canadian Passports*) As someone who grew up in Canada close to the American boarder, for informal dates (sc. NET Standard DateTime Format Strings Specifier Name Description d Short date pattern Represents a custom DateTime format string defined by the current ShortDatePattern property. Maintained by Dave Rolsky and, since 2010-06-01, by Achim Bursian. Example(1):TODAY function entered in cell A2 & B2 shows the same date with different format. So when I do a search and go to the statistics tab, the date and time is displayed with the year first, then the month and the date and the time. For example, “1/30/2017” or “30-Jan-2017” are text strings within quotation marks that represent dates. this worked out to accomplish what I needed this column to do. f Full date/time pattern (short time). So we can represent the custom format like this. However, when I open the CSV file in Excel, it formats october51 to Oct-51. These definitions have the same meaning when used in the custom style of Excel Cell Formatting. s means string, d means integer etc. If you want to format your strings according to a particular language/locale use the WorksheetFunction. In a table, each row should have all data entered, to enable sorting and filtering. By default, Excel will keep the text value background. How do I concatenate cells and retain the certain Date format with a formula in Excel 2010/2013/2016. xlsx, to determine which Excel format to read or write. I have the text strings in the following format in my excel sheet: joey/ Date 08-17/2016/ the quick brown fox/On 2014-12-03, "ABC" debses/Asset category: Equity/balanced. I can pick out the date and time with formulas but not get them in the same cell. The last two calls to the Format function have been supplied with user-defined formats. You should get it as an object of a type representing a date. In VBA Format Date function you have the option to either define your own format or use some of the MS Excel predefined format. Another option is to import all variables as strings (see the -import excel- dialog) and next use Stata's date() (or daily()) function to translate a date string to date variable proper. I need it to find a alpha numeric string that's random in cell b1 to b2000 and see if it is a duplicate of cell A1 to A2000 that will have the same random alpha numeric string with random text in the same cell. You can convert read more ». DateValue() or Value() seems simple enough, give it a date in text and it'll return an Excel date (ie a number). This is an age old problem that I've mostly ignored. Strings in Visual Basic. VBA Excel: Examples of Date and Time Formatting Using the Format Function. If I convert the columns after the paste to text, then it just converts it to a numerical value (36600+). Mmm with date formats like that in excel I'm afraid you are in a world of pain. Another common use is to format a number in a concatenated text string. VBA Concatenate Strings in Excel. Excel must have a way, without using a macro, since it can format sections of non-concatenated text. One of the columns has a date text string which I would like to convert to a standard date format. This cheat sheet covers 100s of functions that are critical to know as an Excel analyst. Instead, Excel may interpret this information as a text or string value only. For example for parsing or generating a CSV file on a French system the following format will be used:. It turns my date/time into excel date format - BUT when I change the date (in the new sheet) it is impossible to convert the date/time back to an Excel serial number that can be used for excel calculations - hence requiring the solution above. Here's the source code for a complete Java SimpleDateFormat example class that demonstrates this custom date formatting approach:. VBA-Excel: Create worksheets with Names in Specific Format/Pattern. Now I want to convert this date i. You will learn how to change date and time settings according to your region, how to format dates in their short or long forms, how to work with dates that appear invalid in a cell,. Is anybody guide me how shall ? As I got date with dd/mm/yyyy but it will also accept 32/02/2005. Example 3 - Format VBA Strings. All string values are enclosed with double quotation(“”) marks. Your second method is bound to fail due to two three reason, first maybe if the range you selected doesnt contain all fields with the date format. How to format an Excel file using C# When programming with Microsoft Office Excel, you can interact with the objects provided by the Excel object model. Note that the actual value delimiter used by Excel is locale dependent, it might be necessary to customize this format to accommodate to your regional settings. The values are stored as Details(2) and Details(3) and are in format DDMMYYYY (30032011) On the rec output, rather than passing in the variable in this format, I was hoping to convert to a date format such as DD-MMM-YYYY (30-Mar-2011) Is anyone able to help?. Follow these steps: Select a blank cell and verify that its number format is General. The Microsoft Excel library You can also create the message from other pieces of strings. 16), that’s easy to change in Windows’ settings. Even after using the date function the date parameters in connection string in excel keeps changing back to the format below. Excel has a lot of built-in number formats, but sometimes you need something specific. This function returns the value of a string, up to the first nonnumeric character. The Microsoft Excel FORMAT function takes a string expression and returns it as a formatted string. The Short Date format has been applied, from the Excel Ribbon, but the date format does not change. How MS Excel Interprets Year Portion of the Date Entered as a String or Text. CDate part of the formula converts the string to a date. Excel’s DATEVALUE function converts a data text into a numeric representation of a date:. So what I am looking for is the formula to calculate the number representation of a date (the one you see if you format a date as a number). html vba vbscript difference (image) "Cells Whose Contents Are. Look at the below example, the value in cell A1 is 43388 but if you format it to. import excel and export excel are supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you want to format your strings according to a particular language/locale use the WorksheetFunction. In an earlier example I showed how to use the Java SimpleDateFormat class to convert from a Date to a String, but you can also use the Java SimpleDateFormat class to convert in the opposite direction, from a given Java String to a Date object. As mentioned above, the NumberFormat method is appropriate for setting the Numberformat of dates stored in Excel cells. Break down a column of multiple strings per cell into unqiue single cell strings. 1 or 01) Day of a week (e. This seems to be because excel thinks the column is a string. The DATE_FORMAT command assigns a format template to the definition of an object that has a DATETIME, TIMESTAMP, TIMESTAMP_TZ, TIMESTAMP_LTZ, DSINTERVAL, or YMINTERVAL data type. The most difficult part of dealing with time data can be converting it into the right format. In KNIME Analytics Platform, the node "String to Date/Time" converts the date into the correct Date and TimeCell, with the Date format: "yyyyMMdd". Case 1: Formatting a single date. Actually, DF is supposed to be numbers and DFDates is supposed to be dates (saved in date/string format). This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. Using these functions together is how I primarily handle working with strings in Excel VBA. Select the cell in which you want to place the formula. Format part of the formula lets you decide what format the date should be in. Although, Excel has it’s own formats for the data but You can define your own [Format] too. I often use this function to show the day of the week beside a column of dates. You can also change the format of the time. Date (probably after looking at the long list of date representations in the strptime help file). Both of these functions exist in VBA and the syntax is the exact same. Date / Datetime string in FME FME converts a datetime value read from a source dataset into 'YYYYmmddHHMMSS. If you want to include ExcelNumberFormat in your project, you can install it directly from NuGet. This post is a continuation of that post and here we will learn Date to String conversion in Java. And TIMESTAMPS too. Unable to process template language expressions in action 'Create_item' inputs at line '1' and column '2369': 'In function 'startOfDay', the value provided for date time string '41796' was not valid. It's not that simple. Hide Duplicate Values. In the first example, I start by getting today's date as a java. However, if you want to use a different format for the date, such as using periods instead of slashes (3. Parentheses are the only way to stop the vertical bar from splitting up the entire regular expression into two options. Can I just make Excel show them as blank? I do NOT want to hide them with filter. This post will guide you how to concatenate cells and keeping data format in Excel. Using Excel FORMAT Function. Creating Excel files with Python and XlsxWriter. Solution->open the excel file in excel, highlight the column of cells that should be of a "date" type, then goto format-->cells, and set it in excel to treat the cells as only a date type. It allows for formatting (date -> text), parsing (text -> date), and normalization. Date-time Conversion Functions to and from Character Description. Sub VBA_Date_Function_Ex3() 'Format and Display Current System Date on the screen 'Variable declaration Dim sCurrentDate As Date 'Assign current system date to a variable sCurrentDate = Date MsgBox Format(sCurrentDate, "DD/MMMM/YYYY"), vbInformation, "Current System Date" End Sub Output: Here is the screen shot of third example output. e yyyy-mm-dd I want it in 07. Named Numeric Formats. 2010-04-14). It is the implementation of. Both of these functions exist in VBA and the syntax is the exact same. SimpleDateFormat, provide a convenient way to convert strings with date and/or time info to and from java. format is optional. Describes the DATEFORMAT and TIMEFORMAT options in the COPY command. Excel VBA Dates & Time, Format Function, User Defined Date, Number & String Formats -----Contents: Excel VBA Dates & Time. Now I want to convert this date i. Excel Questions VBA - Formatting date as string? Dim sDate As String sDate = Format(Date, "mm/dd/yyyy") MsgBox sDate End Sub. Learn how to convert decimal-separated text dates into Excel's date format using string separation functions, including LEFT, RIGHT, MID, and FIND. SimpleDateFormat allows you to start by choosing any user-defined patterns for date. For example 1 becoms 1st. DateFormat is used for formatting a date into String based on specific locale that is provided as input. Format Cells. The format() method of DateFormat class is used to convert Date into String. Here is what we generally do. When writing dates to a word document you could specify a specific format. Always construct a date using the System. Using CHOOSE function Get Day Name. Number formatting in Excel is pretty powerful but that means it is also somewhat complex. In the case of dates, the pre-set options simplify the process of checking your data for dates close to the current date such as yesterday, tomorrow, last week, or next month. Info: These numbers would be typically be extracted from Microsoft Excel Interop or some databases. Date Format « Date Functions « VBA / Excel / Access / Word. Formatting strings. If stored in string or date format, xlsread returns the date as a string. Note that the DATE_FORMAT and TO_CHAR use different format strings. No, Essentially, that format is to tell oracle what type of format you have on your date type in the spreadsheet. Firstdayofweek specifies the first day of the week. 01/Jan/1900 is day one, 02/Jan/1900 is day two, and so on, adding one to the number for each day further on. You can format positive numbers in one of the date formats, to see the date that they represent. The string is truncated. Excel Sheet (After Applying Conditional Formatting on only Numeric Values in Excel) Must Read: Conditional Formatting : Only Text Entries in Excel. So, in this example, I duplicated the % Change column but told Excel not to put the data value in Column I. , Example, I have a column of expiry dates, (actually multiple columns but I will just copy to others later), I need to change cell color to when date is about to expire. In any confusion let me know. In the previous lesson, you used the Conditional Operators. Excel date format - explains how to change the default date format in Excel and create custom formatting. If you need to convert a string in the yyyymmddhhmmss date/time stamp format to a date using VBScript, the above macro will NOT work since VBScript has no Format() operation. When converting from one date and time format to another, first pass the text to the datenum function, so that you can specify the format of the inputs. While you may not have opted to format the date in Excel, it will appear as a date in the previewer. That is why we dedicate a whole chapter to working with strings in Visual Basic. The format of the outputted date string. Let’s see how to split the data into multiple columns. I want these data to take space in the pivot table, but with blank rather than with "0%". When I paste a date string into the same field, the format stored in the zip file is numeric, not date. These examples will clear your idea about these two functions. This module cannot, as yet, be used to write to an existing Excel XLSX file. I have a procedure which reconciles text strings. DateFormat is used for formatting a date into String based on specific locale that is provided as input. formatting the date and time with format function: 4. Some date formats appear automatically based on how you type a date entry in a cell. The preferable date format for most of us is DD-MM-YYY. Select the cell in which you want to place the formula. Format Dates Using Excel VBA: Example. In the “Type”, select the format you like. this worked out to accomplish what I needed this column to do. If the display of a date does not change when the format is changed, then you are working with strings rather than dates. This is an age old problem that I’ve mostly ignored. 4) Apply formula & Function in Excel Table 5) Table Custom Cell Formatting. Here's a post with everything you need to know about formatting Excel dates and time. We can Append multiple strings into single string by using ‘&’ and ‘+’ operators. Functions to convert between character representations and objects of classes "POSIXlt" and "POSIXct" representing calendar dates and times. s means string, d means integer etc. Nope, all the cells are preformatted to be date (e. Doesn't matter what date format I choose, it won't change. And, this method is more flexible. The second argument for the TEXT function consists of a standard Excel number format string. When the data is exported into Excel is the data there a string or a date value? You can determine this by selecting the cell and changing the format to another numeric/date format. In this article, you will learn how to use Excel format function and text function with 68 examples. To install ExcelNumberFormat, run the following command in the Package Manager Console. Organizing meetings and deliveries, writing contracts and buying airplane tickets can be very difficult when the date is unclear. This parameter is optional. You can either use pre-defined Date and Time formats or you can create user-defined Date and Time formats for the argument format_string of the FORMAT function. Source: Python's strftime documentation. DateValue() is specific to date only conversion. Have you inherited a document with the dates in the wrong format? Maybe you were the one who made the mistake, or you simply have decided to go a different route. Your second method is bound to fail due to two three reason, first maybe if the range you selected doesnt contain all fields with the date format. Note: This post assumes that the cell value is recognized by Excel as a valid date and is not entered as a text string. Whether you’re representing a little-used currency, tracking in-stock units, or want to color code profits and losses, you are in need of a an Excel custom number format. The format is as 2/06/2015 and Excel does not recognize as a date format to use with filters, even if I setup the cell as a date format. I need to compare this with timings and based on that need to output string like NA, AP, EU. In an earlier example I showed how to use the Java SimpleDateFormat class to convert from a Date to a String, but you can also use the Java SimpleDateFormat class to convert in the opposite direction, from a given Java String to a Date object. Formating Rules for Connection Strings Connection Strings Explained Store Connection String in Web. It allows for formatting (date -> text), parsing (text -> date), and normalization. The examples below show the most common ways you would format a date. I'm displaying a column as % of row total, and some are showing up as 0%. im trying to format an XML-file so that its possible to open it directly using Microsoft Excel. : - Time separator (typically a colon, but this depends on the locale). Format(Expression,[Format]) Expression is the String which you pass in order to fetch the desired output. When the data is exported into Excel is the data there a string or a date value? You can determine this by selecting the cell and changing the format to another numeric/date format. After I wrote about how to extract characters from the left, right or middle of a text string in Excel, I received a few inquiries about extracting text from strings which don’t seem to have a fixed size, and vary in length. In this case, I'd like to convert it back to Feb 04, 2018. If I take the suggestion to format the cells as text before hand Excel just overrides that formatting and does a date conversion on the text string. In Excel, a date is the number of days since 01/01/1900 (which is the first date in Excel). This Excel tutorial explains how to use the Excel FORMAT function (as it applies to date values) with syntax and examples.