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Customizing your date formats in Microsoft Excel gives you the flexibility to not just give you your preferred date format, but could serve to unify it into the same format for data generation and integrity.

Importance of Date Format

Numbers, dates and times are the most common types of data encoded in Excel. Dates are the types of data that may be quite confusing to work with because the same date can be displayed in Excel in a variety of ways and because Excel internally stores dates in the same format regardless of how you have formatted a date in a given cell.
Knowing the Excel date formats better can help you save a ton of your time. There are several sequence formats for writing dates in excel including the use of symbols such as ‘-‘ (hyphen) and ‘/’ (slash).
It is important to format dates appropriately in order for the software to recognize a cell whenever it contains a date or this may lead to confusion that will cause your data analysis to be doubtful. Software such as Excel offers convenience in calculating and processing data to some business establishment as long as it is used according to the software purpose. This article shows several ways to format date in Microsoft Excel.

Data Tab

There is a convenient way to format data in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This article will elaborate the step for date formatting. Upon opening Microsoft Excel it will show you several tabs located at the upper part of the screen.
The user must proceed to the Data tab and choose Text to Column, move the cursor towards the delimited and choose Next button. Remove the check on all delimiter and click Next. After following the process a dialog box will show up allowing the user to choose the preferred date format.

Home tab

Another convenient way to change the date format in Microsoft excel is found primarily in the Home tab.
First, the user must select the date that should be formatted and open the Home tab. Next is to move the cursor to the Number group and locate for the Number Format box to select the desired format for the date. The given ways are how to format date with the less use of keyboard shortcut but if desired by the user she/he may use a shortcut such as by using Ctrl+Shift+# command for the shortcut to DD-MMM-YY format of date.

Format Cells Dialogue box

In setting different date formats, the user must bear in mind that there different date format for different countries and different companies or business establishments. A staff working in a multinational corporation in United States of America may be receiving spreadsheets from China or other countries and there are some date formats they are not accustomed to using. This conversion can be used in such instances because it changes the date format accordingly to the source by using the available data in the file without scrambling it. The other way to format date in excel is through the Format Cells function. Choose the cell with a date input and press the Ctrl+1 command to open the dialogue box for Format Cells and select Date. It will open several date formats and order basing on the standards in the software.