How to convert date to text using Excel TEXT function and no-formula ways

In the previous article, we discussed different ways to convert text to date in Excel. If you are looking for a solution to the opposite task - changing an Excel date to text - a few choices are available to you again.

Traditionally, we'll begin with a formula solution and then explore a couple of non-formula ways.

Using TEXT function in Excel to convert date to text

The Excel TEXT function is specially designed to convert a numeric value to a text string and display it in the format you specify.

The syntax of the Excel TEXT function is as follows:

TEXT(value, format_text)


  • value is a numeric value you want to convert to text. This can be a number, a formula that returns a numeric value, or a reference to a cell containing a number.
  • format_text this is how you want to format the resulting text value, provided as a text string enclosed in quotation marks.

For example, you can use the following formula to convert a date in cell A1 to a text string in the traditional US date format (month/day/year):

Using Excel TEXT function to convert a date to a text string

As you see in the screenshot above, the value returned by the TEXT formula is aligned to the left, which is the first sign that points to a date formatted as text. Apart from alignment in a cell, there are a few more indicators that can help you distinguish between dates and text strings in Excel.

Example 1. How to convert date to text strings in different formats

Since Excel dates are serial numbers in their nature, the Excel TEXT function has no problem with converting them to text values. The most challenging part is probably specifying the proper display formatting for the text dates.

Microsoft Excel understands the following date codes.


  • m - month number without a leading zero.
  • mm - month number with a leading zero.
  • mmm - short form of the month name, for example
  • mmmm - long form of the month name, for example
  • mmmmm - month as the first letter, for example M (stands for March and May)


  • d - days number without a leading zero.
  • dd - day number with a leading zero.
  • ddd - abbreviated day of the week, for example
  • dddd - full name of the day of the week, for example


  • yy - two-digit year.
  • Yyyy - four-digit year.

To display the converted text date exactly the way you want, you can separate the date codes with various delimiters such as dash (-), slash (/), comma (,) colon (:), etc. Here are a few examples:

  • "mm/dd/yyyy" - the date format used in the USA, displays as 03/08/2015.
  • "dd/mm/yyyy" - the date format used by the rest of the world, displays as 08/03/2015.
  • "dd-mmm-yy" - displays as 08-Mar-2015 to avoid any confusion : )
  • "dddd, mmmm d, yyyy" - full date, including the day of the week, displays as Sunday, March 08, 2015.

For example, if you have a column of US dates in Excel and you need to export them to a .csv file for your UK based partner, you can convert the dates to the UK format, as a courtesy:


Some more formula examples and their results are shown below:

Converting dates to text format in Excel using the TEXT function

Example 2. How to convert time to text strings

If your date entries display both dates and times and you want to change them to text strings exactly as they are, you included the following time codes in the format_text argument of the Excel TEXT function.


  • h - hours without a leading zero, as 0-23.
  • hh - hours with a leading zero, as 00-23.


  • m - minutes without a leading zero, as 0-59
  • mm - minutes with a leading zero, as 00-59


  • s - seconds without a leading zero.
  • ss - seconds with a leading zero.

Periods of the day:

  • AM/PM - displays as AM or PM.
  • If not specified, 24-hour time format is used.

As you probably noticed, the m codes are used for months as well as minutes, and you might be curious how Microsoft Excel distinguishes between them. If you put "m" immediately after h codes (hours) or immediately before s codes (seconds), Excel understands you want to display minutes rather than a month. Yep, it's that simple : )

The TEXT function in Excel allows including both date and time codes in the format_text argument, for example:

=TEXT(A2,"dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm")

If you want to convert the time portion only, then put only the time codes, like this:

=TEXT(A2,"h:mm AM/PM")

The results of your TEXT formulas may look similar to this:

Text formulas to convert date and time to text strings

Example 3. How to convert the current date to text in Excel

In case you want to convert the current date to the text format, you can use the Excel TEXT function in combination with the TODAY function that returns the current date, for example:

=TEXT(TODAY(), "dd-mmm-yyyy")

The result of this formula would show up as 08-Mar-2015. If you prefer to display the resulting text string in some other format, please see the date codes discussed in Example 1.

Example 4. Excel TEXT formula to convert text to date

Though the main destination of the TEXT function in Excel is converting numbers to text, it can also perform a reverse conversion, i.e. change text to date. For this, you simply add the double negation (--) to your TEXT formula.

For example, to convert a text string in cell A1 to date, you use the formula =--TEXT(A1,"mm/dd/yy") and then format the cell as a date.
A TEXT formula to convert text to date

Converting date to text with Excel's Text to Columns wizard

As you've just seen, Excel's TEXT function makes a good job of converting dates to text. But if you are not a big fan of Excel formulas, you might like this solution better.

If you had a chance to read the previous part of our Excel dates tutorial, you already know how to use Text to Columns to change text to date. To convert dates to text strings, you proceed in the same way with the only difference that you choose Text instead of Date on the final step of the wizard.

Note. The Text to Column wizard always converts dates in the default short date format regardless of how the original dates are displayed in your worksheet. You can find more about default date and time formats in the following article: Default date format in Excel.

If the default date format is not what you are looking for, you can jump right to the next solution that lets you convert dates to text strings in any format of your choosing.

If you don't mind the default format, then perform the following steps:

  1. In your Excel spreadsheet, select all of the dates you want to change to text.
  2. On the Data tab, find the Data Tools group, and click Text to Columns.
    Switch to the Data tab and click Text to Columns.
  3. On step 1 of the wizard, select the Delimited file type and click Next.
    On step 1 of the wizard, select Delimited and click Next.
  4. On step 2 of the wizard, make sure none of the delimiter boxes is checked and click Next.
    On step 2 of the wizard, uncheck all delimiter boxes and click Next.
  5. On step 3 of the wizard, which is the final step, select Text under Column data format and click Finish.
Tip. If you don't want the resulting text strings to overwrite the original dates, specify the Destination for the top cell of the new column.
Converting dates to text format using the Convert Text to Columns Wizard

That was really easy, right? The screenshot below demonstrates the result - dates converted to text strings in the default short date format set in your Windows Regional settings, which is "mm/dd/yyyy" in my case:
Dates converted to text strings in the default short date format

Convert Excel date to text via Notepad

Another quick no-formula way to turn Excel dates into text strings is using Notepad or any other text editor. Unlike the Text to Columns wizard, it allows you to convert Excel date to text in any format of your choosing.

  1. In your Excel worksheet, format the dates exactly as you want the text strings to look like.
  2. Select all of the dates you want to convert and press Ctrl+C to copy them.
    Copy the dates you want to convert to text.
  3. Open Notepad or any other text editor, and paste the copied dates there.
  4. Notepad automatically converts the dates to the text format. Press Ctrl+A to select all text strings, and then Ctrl+C to copy them.
  5. Switch back to Microsoft Excel, select the column where you want to insert the text strings and apply the Text format to it. To do this, press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog and select Text on the Number tab.
    Select the column where you want to insert the text strings and apply the Text format to it.
  6. Finally, select the first cell where you want to insert the text strings and press Ctrl+V to paste them.

The following screenshot shows the result, with the original Excel dates in column B and text entries in column D. Please notice that the converted text strings reflect the original date format with absolute accuracy, except they are left-alighted, as all text values are supposed to be in Excel.
The converted text strings look identical to the original dates.

This is how you convert date to text in Excel. Next week we will explorer a few Excel functions to work with weekdays and days of the year. And in the meantime, you may want to check out the previous parts of our comprehensive tutorial to working with dates and times in Excel.

Excel Dates Tutorial:

114 Responses to "How to convert date to text using Excel TEXT function and no-formula ways"

  1. Wroxwiley says:


    Please help me to solve the following issue.
    here I have certain shifts & their start time and end time.
    how to get the hourly count for each shift for one day

    for example:

    Shift Start End 1st Hr - 2nd Hr - 3rd Hr - 4th Hr
    Shift 1 00:30 12:30 32 32 32 32
    Shift 2 01:30 13:30 32 48 48 48
    Shift 1 02:30 14:30 32 48 56 56

  2. HABIBUL HAQUE says:

    Please help me to convert date format to text format as like this

    date format example 01/01/2015 say in cell no a1
    i want to convert as follows 01012015 in cell no b1

  3. Sathesh says:


    Please help me some time if i save the Excel totally text format is changing to Date format.

    Now i need to change total Excel format Date format to Text format how can i change the format.

  4. TheJ says:


    I want to convert number of days to y m d.
    Eg; 1092 days and have Excel convert that to 2years 11months 6days

    Thankfull for quick replay.

    • Hi!

      Because there are leap and non-leap years, and the number of days in each month varies from 28 to 31, we can only suggest the formula with a certain degree of approximation. I.e. 365 days are counted as a year, and 365/12 is counted as a month:

      =CONCATENATE(IF(INT(A1/365)>0,INT(A1/365)&" years",""),IF(INT(MOD(A1,365)/(365/12))>0," "&INT(MOD(A1,365)/(365/12))&" months", "")," ",IF((A1-INT(A1/365)*365-INT(MOD(A1,365)/(365/12))*(365/12))>0,INT((A1-INT(A1/365)*365-INT(MOD(A1,365)/(365/12))*(365/12)))&" days",""))

      Where A1 is the cell containing the number of days you want to convert.

      For 1092 days, the formula returns 2 years 11 months 27 days.

  5. A. Menendez says:


    Thanks to you awesome tutorial I was able to convert date to text, but know I want to convert that text value into something measurable MINUTES.

    For example:
    My (A2) cell value is 1d:03h:40m  1day + 3hours + 40 minutes  (1*24*60)+(3*60)+40 =1660

    Can you please advise how can I perform or execute this conversion from TEXT(Date) to NUMBER (Minutes)?

    Any questions feel free to let me know.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi!

      1d:03h:40m is a very specific format, so the formula is also highly specific:


      Please note that it will work correctly only if hours and minutes always contain 2 digits, with leading zeros if needed.

  6. I. Ilias says:


    I tried so much to find a way that i could use the number of the week of the year and the day of the week and make it a number. For example if we are in the 34th week of the year and the day is Tuesday then the text should show 3402. If its the 24th week of the year and the day is Monday then the text should show 2301 . The first 2 digits are the week of the year, and the other 2 digits are the monday-tuesday etc. Could you pls help me?

  7. Azhar says:

    Hi Please please help

    I want to mark "P" if the time-value is <7:00:00 hrs

  8. himmat singh says:

    sir,my birthday 06-04-1983 ko excel formula se convert word six april nineteen eghty three

  9. JP says:


    Is there a formula to convert 18/09/2015 to "Weekday" or 6/09/2015 to "Weekend"?


  10. KD says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Do you know of a way to increment months from a date value input so it'll automatically show up in correct month/year order in a table?

    Example: I have 12 columns, A to L. In K2, I input 9/20/15 (as the Start Date).
    Then for A5 to L5, I retrieve from K2 and it should automatically increment month/year (as needed).
    A5 has formula of =IF(OR($K$2="",$L$2=""),"",TEXT($K$2,"mmm 'yy"))
    The output for A5 is Sept '15
    I want B5 to automatically become Oct '15, C5 to become Nov '15, D5 to become Dec '15, E5 to become Jan '16, and so on.
    Any suggestions on how to do this?
    Many thanks.

  11. KD says:

    Good news... I figured it out. This is how I did it:
    For B5, function is =IF(OR($K$2="",$L$2=""),"",TEXT(EDATE($K$2,1),"mmm 'yy"))
    For C5, function is =IF(OR($K$2="",$L$2=""),"",TEXT(EDATE($K$2,2),"mmm 'yy"))

    and so on.

  12. emgee says:

    Hello, i just want to know the formula if i input "date" from cell1, and on cell2, output will be the year only. Like for example if i input date 9/29/2015 on cell1, the output for cell2 must be "A" for year 2015. Then if year 2016, the output will be B, and so on. Thanks.

  13. PATEL MAYANK says:


  14. SW says:

    Is there a way to sort the text dates in chronological order in a pivot once you've used the formula in the data?

    I'm doing a rolling year oct-2014 through sept-2015 (displayed as 15-Sep with text formula) but when pivoting this the dates show as alphabetized (ie 14-dec,14-oct,14-nov,15-apr,15-aug and so on)

  15. Patty says:

    Is there a way to convert a birthday (01/15/2012) into number of months and days (45 months 1 day)? I need the number of months and days to keep a continuous count as of the current day.

  16. Nrasing Rao says:

    good evening Sir,
    how to convert date of birth in text
    02/02/1966- Second February nineteen sixty six in Excel sheet
    pl what formula i have to write

  17. Ahemad says:

    I want formula For text Date in Excel like that
    "Twenty ,Ten, Two Thousand Fifteen"
    Thanks plz reply

  18. veerendra says:

    Hi i i have 14/10/2015 11:01
    14/10/2015 11:01
    14/10/2015 11:01
    14/10/2015 11:01
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02
    14/10/2015 11:02

    i want to add am/pm to each one. the date is currently in text mode.

  19. Jon says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Wondering if you could help me. I have a date in cell AB5, in US english format (mm/dd/yyyy) and a formula =TEXT(AB5, "mmm/yy") in cell AX5. For some reason the formula returns the date in date format rather than my desired Mon/YY format- any ideas why this may be the case?

    Best regards


  20. Donal says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Thanks for such an informative post.

    Is there a way to construct a formula like the below to return nothing if the source cell is blank? Right now, it is returning Jan-OO for all empty cells.



  21. Donal says:

    Cracked it!


  22. Donal says:

    Ah - just saw your post; many thanks!

  23. Yennie says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I hope you can help me. I have 9/1/2015 12:11:53 PM (cell A2) which i need to convert into text. I have used some of the idea above which is =text(A2,"dd/mm/yyyy hh;mm;ss"), some cell works but some cell doesn't.
    Do you know is there any other ways to convert this? Thanks in advance.

  24. Tiffany says:

    I have the same question as above.

    date format example 01/01/2015 say in cell no a1
    i want to convert as follows 01012015 in cell no b1

    But when I tried what you recommended it didn't work.


    Is there another way? Thank you so much for the help!

  25. Aditya says:

    How to convert Mon, 30 Nov, 2015 to 30-Nov-2015 format

  26. Latha says:

    I used some software for entry so I export my entries and worked for invoice date + 30 = schedule date
    In our report 1 to 12 date its calculated but 13 to 31 dates calculation its not able and the answer its #value
    Please help me how could solve this error

  27. Nanci says:

    When I paste the column to notepad - it does not change it to text. When I paste it back in excel - it is still a date. I am using office 365

  28. THERSIA says:

    Hi there,

    Please help me - I have this birth date that I want to change to text ie 19720101 should read 01 Jan 1972, how do I do that?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hello THERSIA,

      From your example, it's not quite clear which of the two "01" in 19720101 is month and which is day. Assuming it is the "yyyymmdd" format, you can use one of the following formulas (where A1 contains 19720101):

      To convert the number to a date:


      As the result, the formula returns a serial number representing the date. Now, select the formula cell, press Ctrl+1 and set the following date format: "dd mmm yyyy". Please see

  29. hemachandra says:

    how do u create if formula for
    if 06:00:00 to 9:00:00 should be P
    after 11:00:00 AM should be HAL
    Before 2 PM should be HAL again

  30. Kishore says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    When I use the Text function within a formula, it is still displaying a number. Any reason why it is doing it? Note that when I try the function in a standalone cell, its working perfectly fine.

    Here's what I mean-

    ="select ric_code,exchange_code,expiry_date from smd_live_raw..t_ds_optfuture where expiry_date =TEXT(42587,"dd-mmm-yyyy")"

    The number 42587 is being taken from a cell that contains a date.

    Any help please? Thanks.


  31. RAMBABU SONI says:

    how to convert date of birth in text
    01/07/1965- First july nineteen sixty five in Excel sheet
    pl what formula i have to mob.number is 7773876579

  32. RAMBABU SONI says:

    Hi Svetlana
    how to convert date of birth in text
    02/02/1966- Second February nineteen sixty six in Excel sheet
    pl what formula i have to write
    my is 7773876579

  33. Ann says:

    This article is really helpful, thank u so much Svetlanta...

  34. Shahin says:

    Hi Mam! Could you help me convert "Sat, May 14, 2016" into "14/5/2016" format and separate "Sat" from the string when the former started with asterisk mark. Thanks in advance.

  35. velmani says:

    how to convert to date month year words in excel

  36. velmani says:

    15/06/2006i want to result fifteenth june two thoushand six please help me

  37. priti says:


    not able to change this date format to mm/dd/yy

  38. puneeth says:

    i want to know how to convert date into words(english) in excel 2003 or 2007
    for eg. 22.04.2010 - convert it into Twenty Two April 2010 or Twenty Two April Two Thousand Ten.

  39. sanjay says:

    how to convert date for example 14/07/2008 in word " Fourteenth Jun Tow Thousand"

  40. sofie says:

    Hi my question is when I am use

    =E1&" "&" "&E2&" "&TEXT(E3, "MMM YY ") formula.

    I want to change the year from 2016 to 2015 but when copy that formula and past it into the next cell the year stay the same even when I put it as paste fill without formatting.

  41. awais says:

    is it possible to covert a numeric date into complete Text format? e.g 13/02/2015 in thirteenth February Two thousand and fifteen.

  42. laxman mummy says:

    i want to know how to convert date into words(english) in excel 2003 or 2007
    for eg. 22.04.2010 - convert it into Twenty Two April 2010 or Twenty Two April Two Thousand Ten.

  43. Pervez says:

    I have cells formated as i wantto genrate todaydate but in text formate these cells does not read today date.plz help

  44. Sudhakar says:

    How to use d(), m() and y() functions in excel

  45. TE Shaw says:

    I would like to enter a ratio like "1:1" or "7:5" in a cell that has been previously formatted as Text. Excel 2013 constantly changes my entries to date/time formats. How hard is it for the geniuses in Redmond to understand that when I format a cell as Text I want whatever I enter in it to be displayed EXACTLY AS I HAVE ENTERED IT and NOT AS ANYTHING ELSE???????

  46. Sanz says:

    Hi all,
    I would like to convert date, i.e. 31-12-2015 into text format... like Thirty one - December - Two thousand fifteen.

  47. rajeshkumar says:

    I would like to learn, how to convert 01.01.2016 to 01-01-2016 format.

  48. rajeshkumar says:

    that was very simple way of doing.
    Is there no other option, using Text and columns??

  49. MarkR says:

    Hi Svetlana.

    This blog is awesome. Thanks

    I have a column D in an Excel sheet that shows date exported from a system in the format;
    day/ month / yyyy as shown in examples below

    I need to convert these dobs in to a 4 digit PIN code DDMM
    so results from above will be:

    I've tried =TEXT(D2,"mmdd") but it keeps the slashes / and always retains the yyyy at the end
    I've tried =TEXT(D2,"dd")&TEXT(D2,"mm") but same issues

    A maths friend gave me this and it seemed to work for a while:

    I'm using Excel 2010. Help please.

    Thank you in anticipation

    • Hi Mark,

      This simple formula works just fine for me:
      =TEXT(D2, "ddmm")

      You can check it in a new empty sheet by typing a few dates manually in your default date format, not copy/paste from the existing sheet. If it works with the regular dates typed manually, then most likely the problem is with the exported dates, e.g. they may be text strings that look like dates. To check this, select any cell with a date, and look at the Number Format box on the Home tab > Number group. If it shows Text or General, you are dealing with text strings, not dates. In this case, you can simply extract the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th character using this formula:

      Please note, the above formula will work only if all the dates are in the same format, i.e. dd/mm/yyyy.

      If there are dates formatted as d/m/yyyy (without leading zeros), you will need to convert text strings to dates first, and then apply =TEXT(D2, "ddmm") to the converted dates.

  50. Vishal says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I am trying to copy a either an entire worksheet or a range of data from one workbook to another. I can do this successfully manually, by selecting all the cells with data in them and pasting into a newly created worksheet (Date format is maintained). However when I try to do this via VBA any date with a day greater than 12 gets converted to text [US (m/dd/yyyy)/Australian (dd/mm/yyyy) format change]. I've tried formating the cells first to US format dates but this doesn't help. Any sugestions?

  51. Shafi says:

    how to change date of birth figure in to words in ms excel 2010. for Example 4/3/2002.4th May Two Thousand Two

  52. Sagar Raut says:


    Can you please help me to convert the date format 24/01/2017 in "Twenty-Forth January Two Thousand Seventeen"..??

    Please let me know.. its very urgent

  53. Guna says:

    How to convert 'January 18th 2017, 12:04 am' to '18/01/2017 12:04 AM' in Excel?

  54. AManda says:

    Is there a way to have a cell pull date data from one cell (ex. May 15, 2017) to say 'Mid May' instead?

  55. Jayne says:

    How do you convert 2015-JAN-10 to read 01-10-15 in excel?

  56. thomas says:

    Dear Svetlana,

    When I write 2013 on my excel sheet I have the problem that excel sees it as 1905, I have tried to use =Year(2013), change format, use text to columns but doesn't seem to found a way to correct this, could you help me?
    Best regards

  57. Paul says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I am trying to convert several weeks of date formatted eg;Wednesday, 1 March 2017 to straight text 'WED" for use in pivot table /graphs.

    Custom formatting using "ddd" still retains the "number" value, and using a notepad to convert will not work as I am using Macros.

    Thank you in advance.

  58. Syed Muhammad Ahmad Shah says:

    I am trying to make the formula that in cell A1 has a date and other cell B1 specific date or text i.e "Not Selected" and result in other cell C1 should be the month and days while cell B1 can be counted the today date. I could not make that formula. Please help me. Thank you in advance.

  59. Sanjiv Saxena says:

    Hello! I require conversion of date of birth (25/09/1998) to date of birth in words as "Twenty fifth September Nineteen Ninety Eight" in Excel. Please help me.

  60. Ramesh says:

    Anybody help me to change this time format to words ?

    (55:56:14 , it shows 7 hours, 56 minutes and 14 Seconds)
    it should be 55 hours.... ...

    INT(D179)&" Days," & HOUR(N179)&" hours, " &MINUTE(N179)&" minutes and "&SECOND(N179)& " Seconds"

  61. JonP says:

    How do I create a formula when a specific text is typed in a cell, the current time & date will appear in an assigned cell?:
    A2 = YES
    B2 = (display current time and date)
    A2 = NO
    B2 = (will be blank)

    • BATMAN says:

      =IF(A1="yes",NOW()," ")
      change the format for b1 so that it shows only time
      ie by going to format cells selecting time and select the appropriate one you required

  62. PRABHA says:

    how to convert date to text in excel.for examble 10/03/2000 is convert to ten-march-two thousand like this

    • BATMAN says:

      Not possible ,
      you can do this formula
      =TEXT(a2,"ddd mmmm yyyy") the output you would receive would be Tue October 2000

  63. Brooke says:


    Apologies if you have covered this above, I have tried a bunch of your instructions that look applicable but none seem to work for me.

    I would like to type the following into a cell for today's date for example: 2905, and then for it to change to this: 29/05/17. Or if it needs to have the same amount of digits, type this: 290517 to get this 29/05/17.
    If I want it in the same cell, can this be done by conditional formatting? If not, can the formula go in a cell away from the current columns (so I don't need to have two columns next to each other just for the conversion)?

    Your help is greatly appreciated. If you could spell it out step by step that would be great, I am a bit useless. i.e: "click in A2 where you have typed the date as 2905, then click in cell D2..." :)

    Thanks! Brooke

  64. Taufiq says:

    I am using "Text to Column" feature to convert date. however it is not converting the 29 February 2017.
    Grateful if you please guide.

  65. Shiya says:

    I am trying to return the number of days between the 2 dates
    AE (6/9/2017 17:30 and AD (2/7/2017 9:35)
    Formula: =TEXT(AE6-AD6,"dd,hh:mm:ss")
    result: 01,07:54:45

    How can I return the 3 digits?
    I tried this formula:
    =INT(AE8-AD8)&"Days" & TEXT(AE8-AD8,"H""hrs""m""mins""")
    but then this does not seem to be in an order if I am trying to filter quickly.
    Could you please advise on this?

  66. Manisha says:

    How to convert date of birth in words. Please help in excel.


  67. namdev Gawade says:

    how to convert date of birth in text
    01/07/1965- First july nineteen sixty five in Excel sheet
    pl what formula i have to mob.number is 9423818133

  68. Ales says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I see you are trying to help users with Excel TEXT function used to format time. Well, I've faced problem in international environment, where different users may have different localization of Excel, as well as different local setting of Windows. It cause funny thing, that date formating in Excel TEXT function vary by local setting, e.g. "YYYY-MM-DD" in whatever English, "RRRR-MM-DD" in Czech, "VVVV-KK-PP" in Finish, etc. Excel is not converting it based on local setting, so formula created in one local setting, doesn't work in others. I understand it as MS Excel bug, but it doesn't help me to solve it.
    Have you ever seen this and are you aware of any solution/workaround, which may work? I'd appreciate any tip here.
    My workaround now is this formula: =YEAR(source date cell)&"-"&MONTH(source date cell)&"-"&DAY(source date cell). I'm not fully happy with the solution, as weakpoint is, it may result in single digit month and/or single digit day, which I want to keep as double digit (like 2017-09-01, instead 2017-9-1). Maybe it can be solved by some IF and counting of characters, but it's going to be way too complex, comparing to =TEXT(source date cell; "YYYY-MM-DD").
    Any idea or tip here is very welcomed.

    Regards, Ales

  69. PURUSHOTHAM says:

    in sell A1 - TEXT 18102017 please convert this as 18/10/2017 in cell B1



  70. Nathan McClellan says:

    I appreciate this, thanks. 1 question about the recommendations:

    dates converted to text strings in the default short date format set in your Windows Regional settings, which is "mm/dd/yyyy" in my case:

    This does all I need EXCEPT I want to change the short date format the text comes through in. I need it to be yyyy/mm/dd. Do I have to change my regional settings or is there another way to do that?

  71. kimdarrel says:

    hi please help me!
    how to do this i have 3 column with date and i want it if there is a date display the date but if its blank display the other date in the column.

    thanks so much in advance!

    • Hello,
      For me to understand the problem better, please send me a small sample workbook with your source data and the result you expect to get to Please don't worry if you have confidential information there, we never disclose the data we get from our customers and delete it as soon as the problem is resolved.
      Please also don't forget to include the link to this comment into your email.
      I'll look into your task and try to help.

  72. ssrm says:

    Hi hello pls anyone help me in this issue i need convert dates format already in in excel from 15.04.2017 to 15-04-2017
    all the dates are entered with . (dots) only I'm unable to change the format kindly suggest any idea

    • Coco says:


      An interesting problem you have posed. I cannot be certain that all of the information needed to answer you is available in your question but potentially there are solutions.

      Firstly you need to know whether the dates like 15.04.2017 are true dates or text.
      Secondly, you need to consider whether the format (appearance) as 15.04.2017 is simply a result of the locale you are using and if so what the default date format is for that locale.

      I presume, because you ask about displaying them as 15-04-2017 that you have already tried to format the dates to display differently using the Format|Cells|Dates options and have found that they do not respond. This suggests that the dates are text not true dates. The locale that is used then becomes irrelevant. Text is literal (wysiwyg).

      So, if the dates are not true dates but simply text, David Carter provides a quite simple solution at
      I shall not reproduce all that he says here. If when you try to access it you find that it has been taken down, post an email address here and I shall send a copy to you. In brief, it is designed for a column of dates, and uses the Excel Text to columns functionality, so there is an assumption that you have a column of 'dates' which Excel presently treats as text. The solution converts the text to real dates.

      Once you have true dates you can then choose to format the cells as dates in whatever format is appropriate. If the file is to be shared across multiple locales then you may rather than using the standard date formats available for particular locales, which can result in differences such as you see (15.04.2017 which may appear in other locales as 15/04/17, 04/15/17 or even 17/04/15) set up a custom date format.

      For the custom date format, sadly, I cannot help. If we get a good reply to my post below (73), we may then know how to set one up, but as far as I can see Excel does not respond helpfully across locales, so eg dd-mm-yyyy -> 'dd-00-yyyy' in a German locale, and dd-MM-yyyy -> 'dd-05-yyyy'. We have to use TT-MM-JJJJ, which is of little help if you are in a different locale.

      Finally, I have just noticed that you can select a locale for the date format using Format|Cells|Dates, which will allow you to apply a standard format to display 15-04-2017. English (India), possibly others, contains this format. Whether this works if the file is later transferred to a different locale, I am sorry I do not know the answer to that.

      I hope this helps you

  73. Coco says:

    A useful article with many good hints and tips but sadly did not address my specific issue.

    I have in Excel a cell '_p_end' which contains a date, say 31/05/2018, which is entered by a user. This is converted to text by =TEXT(_p_end,"dd/mm/yy") to be used in later reports.

    Sadly, some of our users do not use English as their default language. In Excel, for eg a German user, the date displays as 31.05.2018 but it is still a date and may be manipulated as such. However

    TEXT(_p_end,"dd/mm/yy") = #VALUE!

    "dd/mm/yy" is not a valid date format in German.

    How can we overcome this?

    Thank you


  74. RAM GUPTA says:


  75. Seymur says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    i have the following problem:
    I can not change the formatting of date that was downloaded form txt file(notepad). From this one 22-10-2018 23:01:01 d/m/yyyy hh:mm:ss to 10-22-2018 23:01:01 m/d/yyyy hh:mm:ss. I even copy that to different sheets but it doesn't work.
    Could you please help with that

  76. Ian Wright says:

    HI. I have a spreadsheet where the date has been supplied in format - Using dots.
    I want to change this to just using the Month. I have tried using the formula =SUBSTITUTE(E2,".","/") but then I can't change than data to only show month?
    Please could you help

  77. anusha says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    I have the following problem:
    I want to subtract the two rows value if both are same date i.e I want to calculate the employee working hours starting time - ending time on a same day ,The values are in diff rows, if only one stamp of employee is there then make it error
    thanks in Advance Please could you help

  78. Roxana says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    If I need to convert from text to data the information below, what formula do I have to use?

    I have to mention that I have all this dates in the same column.

    Thank you in advance!

  79. Deepali says:

    3/14/2019 9:30 AM i want this as 14-03-2019 09:00:00
    3/31/2019 6:39 PM - 31-03-2019 18:39:00

  80. surendra says:

    Hi Svetlana Cheusheva,

    Thanks for the notes, it helped me lot.

  81. bedabar dash says:

    I want to change dight into Text.
    Ex:7:30 to convert into 7hrs30min.
    Please let me as soon as possible.
    Its needed for me!

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