Using a Single Digit for a Year

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2021)

3

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 Office 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

Jumping to Tables

If your document contains quite a few tables, you may find it helpful to jump quickly from one table to another. There ...

Discover More

Printing AutoText Entries

If you want to print a list of the AutoText entries on your system, you can do so quickly by making one change on the ...

Discover More

Combining and Formatting Times

Excel allows you to store times in your worksheets. If you have your times stored in one column and an AM/PM indicator in ...

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)

Pulling All Fridays

It can be handy to know when specific weekdays occur within a range of dates. Figuring out this information, using ...

Discover More

Date for Next Wednesday

When working with dates, it is often helpful to be able to calculate some date in the future based on a starting date. ...

Discover More

Elapsed Days as Years, Months and Days

Need to know how many days there are between two dates? It's easy to figure out—unless you need the figure in ...

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 six minus 1?

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.