Using a Single Digit for a Year

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 16, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


4

Bruce needs to display dates that represent a product's "Best By" date. The required format is mmddy, two-digit month, two-digit day, and one-digit year. So, September 28, 2021, would read 09281. Bruce cannot seem to come up with a custom format that uses only one digit for a year, though.

It is not difficult to come up with a custom format for this, it is impossible. Excel's custom formatting allows for either two or four digits for years, but not one or three. Because of this, you need to rely on either a formula or a user-defined function (macro).

Let's look at the formula methods, first. The idea is to use the equivalent of a custom format (in the TEXT function) for the portions that can be represented properly, and then add to that a single digit for the year. Either of these formulas will handle that:

=TEXT(A1,"mmdd") & RIGHT(TEXT(A1,"yy"),1)
=TEXT(A1,"mmdd") & RIGHT(YEAR(A1),1)

If you prefer, you could create a single-line user-defined function, in this manner:

Function DateCode(DateVal As Date) As String
    DateCode = Format(DateVal, "mmdd") & Right(Year(DateVal), 1)
End Function

This function essentially does, in macro form, what the second formula above does. To use the function, you would simply place it in a cell, like so:

=DateCode(A1)

Remember that the result of any of these approaches (formula or UDF) is a text string. So, for instance, you could combine the results with other text, in this manner:

="Expires: " & TEXT(A1,"mmdd") & RIGHT(TEXT(A1,"yy"),1)
="Good through " & TEXT(A1,"mmdd") & RIGHT(YEAR(A1),1)
="Use before " & DateCode(A1)

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9971) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

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

Double-Spacing Your Document

Need to produce a quick double-spaced printout of your document? You can do it by using the simple steps in this tip.

Discover More

Last Document Saves Not Saved

Click the Save button and you expect your document to be saved, right? What if you later discover it wasn't really saved? ...

Discover More

Automatically Setting Right Leader Tabs

If you have a constant need to define tabs at the edge of the right margin, you'll love the macro-based technique ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Converting Coded Dates into Real Dates

Sometimes the format in which you receive data is not the same format that would be optimal for Excel. For instance, you ...

Discover More

Month for the Nth Sunday

Doing math with dates is quite easy in Excel. As this tip illustrates, this fact makes it easy to figure out the Nth ...

Discover More

Determining If a Year is a Leap Year

Need to figure out if a given year is a leap year? It's not as easy as you think! This tip provides a plethora of ways ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 three less than 9?

2022-11-19 14:03:46

Tomek

My suggestion is an user defined function:
```

Public Function DateCode(DateVal As Date) As String

DateCode = Format(DateVal, "mmdd") & (DatePart("yyyy", DateVal) Mod 10)

End Function
```
You can add a check whether argument is a valid date. The result is a string, but can be easily modified to a number; however it cannot be a date.

Also the code generated will be off by one day for dates between Jan 1 and Feb 28, in the year 1900. BTW, Excel accepts Feb. 29, 1900 as a valid date while 1900 was not a leap year; the code will be off by one day for that invalid date too. This shouldn't matter for Bruce though.


2021-01-18 12:43:05

David Bonin

I use and would love to see a universal date format of yyyy-mm-dd.
This puts folders and files in chronological order even where the system is not seeing it as a date.

Using dashes instead of slashes allows this date format to be used in file names. I use this as a simple method of version control.

It also has the advantage of conforming to ISO 8601. If nothing else, conformance helps eliminate the "mine is better than yours" argument.

Lastly, this format seems universal enough to be recognized all over the world. It's worked so far for the people on the four continents I work with.


2021-01-16 12:17:02

Don

VBA also has a nice little DatePart function. In the immediate window, this input "? right(DatePart("yyyy","01/16/2021"),1)" produces a result of "1".


2021-01-16 10:46:48

Will

I use and would love to see a universal date format of yyyy/mm/dd. This puts folders and files in chronological order even where the system is not seeing it as a date.

Seems terribly logical.


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.