Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems.

Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 29, 2019)

1

Edward has noticed a problem with formatted dates on different machines. Many times, he will create a workbook on one computer but use a different computer to print the report for inclusion in a mailing. Even though he has the cells formatted one way when he creates the report (i.e., the date is mm/dd/yy), when he opens the workbook on the second computer the date will appear differently (mm/dd/yyyy). This causes problems with the appearance of the final printed report as the cell data is then truncated.

Actually, the answer to this problem is similar to the discussion in the previous tip. The problem occurs because of differences in the way that system dates are set up on the two machines. On one machine the system date is set up in Windows to display using two digits for the year, while the other is set up to display using four.

How does this affect Excel? Some of the date formats in Excel automatically use the system date format used by Windows. When you display the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box you know that Excel provides a number of different date formats you can select. Note that some of the formats have an asterisk in front of them. These represent the "system date" formats. If you select one of these, it means that Excel uses the corresponding system date format to display the information in the cell. If you move the workbook to a different system and the formats used for system dates are different, then the dates will display differently in those cells.

The solution is to either change the system date formats to be the same on both systems (done in Windows, in the Regional Settings applet of the Control Panel), or simply pick a different date format in Excel. You'll want to pick one that doesn't have an asterisk in front of it or define your own custom date format. You should then have no problem with different displays of the dates on the different systems.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9513) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Better-Looking Full Justification for Paragraphs

If you want Word to justify paragraphs in the same way that it is done in WordPerfect, you'll want to apply the steps in ...

Discover More

Hiding Macros

Need to hide some macros in your workbook? There are three ways you can do it, as covered in this discussion.

Discover More

Fixing Odd Sorting Behavior

When you sort data that contains both numbers and text, you may not get exactly the result that you expected. To know ...

Discover More

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!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Losing Formatting

When you save a workbook, you expect Excel to remember the formatting you applied in the worksheets in that workbook. If ...

Discover More

Conditional Formatting with Data Imported from Access

If you want to apply a conditional format to data imported into Excel from Access, you may run into some difficulties ...

Discover More

Understanding Underlines

Excel provides a variety of underlining styles you can use when you need to underline information within a cell. Here's ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 0?

2020-05-28 11:01:24

pranav

Now the problem I experienced that in one system excel shows date in 29/09/12 but in other system the same file shows 29-09-12 and 29/09/12 in same column but different cells .

note: the excel file is generated by a batch job

any idea why ?


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.