Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates.

# Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2018)

Luis receives dates in the format "04C18" where the first two digits are the day, the letter in the middle is the month (A is January, B is February, C is March, etc.), and the last two digits are the year. He needs to transform these coded dates into regular date values that he can work with in Excel.

The biggest thing that makes this date format non-standard is the use of the alphabetic character for the month. So, the first thing to do is to figure out how to convert that character into a numeric month. This is where the CODE function can be helpful; it returns the ASCII code for the character. The letter A returns the value 65, B returns 66, and so on. So, all you need to do to convert the letters into the numbers 1 through 12 is to use something like this:

```=CODE(UPPER(MID(A1,3,1)))-64
```

The UPPER function is used to convert the month character to uppercase, just in case the code allows lowercase letters for months.

Another way of converting the months is to use the FIND function, in this manner:

```=FIND(UPPER(MID(A1,3,1)),"ABCDEFGHIJKL",1)
```

This technique finds the character within the alphabetic string and returns the offset within that string, 1 through 12. This approach is best to use if the letters representing the months are not consecutive or if they are a decreasing sequence.

Either method of converting the months can then be used inside a DATE function to return a date based upon a year, month, and day. This example uses the CODE method, but you could just as easily use the FIND method:

```=DATE(2000+RIGHT(A1,2),CODE(UPPER(MID(A1,3,1)))-64,LEFT(A1,2))
```

If there is the possibility that the coded dates could include some dates prior to 2000, then using the DATEVALUE function to put together the date will produce more accurate results:

```=DATEVALUE(CODE(UPPER(MID(A1,3,1)))-64&"/"&LEFT(A1,2)&"/"&RIGHT(A1,2))
```

If you use the DATEVALUE approach, understand that the formula returns a date serial number and that you will need to format the cell to display the date as you would like it displayed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7014) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is one less than 2?

2016-05-05 15:23:27

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Thomson,
I was only refering to your comment dated: 03 May 2016, 19:28
It is for good practice to "let go" of all the "meanings" within the first comment like a reason for a formula expansion (to handle: JA, FE, MA etc) and not after receiving questions/Wonderings like in my previous comment.
-------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)
ISRAEL

2016-05-05 10:46:26

Pancho

Thanks for all the help
I cannot get Allen's DATEVALUE to work it just returns #VALUE!
I have double checked the formatting of the cells and done a formula evaluation - this returns the formula section 'MID(A1,3,1)' italicized
Any ideas as I need to convert coded dates for years 19** and 20**

2016-05-05 00:09:11

Thomson

@Michael

I agree MID is much easier for you and me. However, CHOOSE can be use for double digits and easier for human reading (For person who will use this workbook other than you with just beginner Excel skill)

e.g. I can replace with A-L to the following.

JA
FE
MA
AP
MY
JN
JL
AU
SE
OC
NO
DE

2016-05-04 06:18:52

Pancho

@Thomson
Thankyou very much

2016-05-04 05:21:44

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Thomson,
Was there a special reason for suggesting a TWICE AS LONG formula section (usage of CHOOSE instead of MID) ?
--------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)
ISRAEL

2016-05-03 19:28:51

Thomson

Or using Choose function instead of MID

=CHOOSE(MONTH(C3),"A","B","C","D","E","F","G","H","I","J","K","L")

2016-05-03 19:25:47

Thomson

=TEXT(A1,"dd")&MID("ABCDEFGHIJKL",MONTH(A1),1)&TEXT(A1,"YY")

Or you can replace MID function to Vlookup table.

2016-05-03 11:30:42

Pancho

That's fine and thanks for the details.
How can I reverse this tip? I want to enter a date that will convert to code (not necessarily in the same cell) For example, if I enter 04-Mar-2013 how can I get that to appear as 04C13?

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