Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Changing Excel's Starting Date.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 10, 2015)
Excel allows you to choose which arbitrary date you use as the beginning point for date and time serial numbers. In the PC world, the default date is January 1, 1900. If you are working with Excel workbooks imported from the Macintosh environment, however, you will want to set the starting date to January 2, 1904—the default date used on the Mac.
To set which of these two dates is used, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6249) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Excel's Starting Date.
Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!
Enter a value into a cell and "poof!" it is automatically divided by 100. What's going on, and how can you fix it so that ...Discover More
Do you want page breaks displayed on the screen? Excel allows you to specify whether it should show those page breaks or not.Discover More
Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.