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Excel – Why is my figure displayed as a date?

Sharyn Baines

PROBLEM: when typing a figure into a cell in Excel the figure is displayed as a date?

SOLUTION: quickly change the format of the cell back to a format that displays numbers, not dates.

Excel – Remove formatting from a cell

As soon as you type a date into a cell Excel automatically changes the cell format to be a ‘Date’ format.  This can through up a bit of a challenge if you later delete the date and replace it with a number.

The problem is that the cell’s formatting remains even when you delete the content.  Therefore every time you type a number into the cell it will automatically be formatted as a date.

To change the cell format so that your number is displayed, and not a date:

  1. Select the cell (or range of cells) that are giving you grief.
  2. On the Home tab from the Number group click the drop down arrow on the Number Format command.  Select the Number format.

3. Your cell will now have the Number format applied and your number will be displayed.

Sharyn is an expert trainer.  She became the first certified Microsoft® MOUS Authorised Instructor in New Zealand.

She is endorsed by Microsoft® as a qualified Microsoft® Office Specialist and has more than 20 years of experience in the training industry, developing and delivering technology training workshops. Her approach to taking the “techie-speak” out of technology training has placed her as a preferred supplier to many of New Zealand’s leading organisations.

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