Excel Guides

Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems in Excel

Formatted dates in Excel can appear differently on different systems, depending on the date format settings for each system. For example, if your system is set to the United States date format (mm/dd/yyyy), then a date formatted as "12/31/2015" in Excel will appear as "12/31/2015" on your system. However, if your system is set to the United Kingdom date format (dd/mm/yyyy), then that same date will appear as "31/12/2015".

This can be confusing when sharing Excel files with others, since the dates will appear differently depending on each person's system settings. To avoid this issue, you can use the TEXT function in Excel to format dates so that they will appear the same on all systems. For example, if you want a date to always appear as "12/31/2015", regardless of each person's system settings, you would use the following formula:


This would format the date in cell A1 as "12/31/2015". You can also use other formats besides mm/dd/yyyy - for a full list of formats, see here. Just remember that whatever format you choose will be applied to all systems, so choose carefully!

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