Excel Trick I use often – convert text to dates

By Patricia Egen • April 30th, 2014

It’s been another week of intensive Excel projects and once again I used several tricks I’ve learned over the years.  It occurred to me that they would make a good short blog article.  Here is one of the techniques.  I’ll post another blog article soon with more ideas.

Working with Dates.

I am often helping clients convert data that’s been given to them by vendors or trade shows.  Sometimes the dates come over all jammed together without slashes or in text mode.  To ensure they become dates so we can import them into ACT or their CRM, I do the following.

Text to Columns

I highlight the column of dates (ensuring first that I have an empty column to the right of the data).  Then, I click on the Data tab and choose Text To Columns.Click through the dialogs until you get to the one that let’s you format the data (step 3)

Format as dateClick the radio button next to DATE and choose YMD from the dropdown.

If your data was in monthdayyear format, you would choose MYD instead.  Tell it to put the data in another cell and click OK.

Text to Dates

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