How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Compute Expert

How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel


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In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply a short date format to a date in excel completely.

When working with dates in excel, we may sometimes need to display them short in our cells. If we know how to apply the short date format to our dates, then we can change the display easily.

Want to know and master the methods we can use to apply a short date format in excel? Read this tutorial until its last part!

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What is a Short Date Format in Excel?

A short date format in excel is a date display format consisting only of a date’s day, month, and year numbers. We usually use it to display our dates more simply and to make them not exceed their cell width.

To better understand this short date format in excel, take a look at the following example. Let’s say we have this date in excel.

How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of an Example of a Date with Long Date Format

The date in the screenshot has a long date format as it shows the name of the date’s day and month. We might think that it is too long and want to display this date much shorter. Thus, we apply the short date format to this date.

How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of an Example of a Date with Short Date Format

Much simpler, isn’t it? Now, the date only displays its day, month, and year numbers!

This is the display we often show when we have dates in our cells in excel. It is simpler and easier to read for most occasions.

However, we may sometimes have dates in a long date format and we need to convert them to the short one. What are the methods we can implement to do that?

There are three methods we will discuss to do that in the next parts of this tutorial. Let’s start by discussing the first one, the number format dropdown method!


How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel 1: Number Format Dropdown

How to convert a date into its short date format display in excel by using the number format dropdown method? Here are the steps to do it.

  1. Highlight the cell(s) that contains the date you want to apply the short date format on

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1-1

  2. Go to the Home tab in your Excel ribbon and click the number format dropdown button

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1-2

  3. Choose Short Date from the number format dropdown list

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1-3

  4. Done!

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1-4






How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel 2: Format Cells Dialog Box

Besides the number format dropdown method, you can also use the format cells dialog box to apply a short date format. Here are the steps to do that.

  1. Highlight the cell(s) that contains the date you want to apply the short date format on

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-1

  2. Right-click on the cell(s) and choose Format Cells…. Alternatively, you can also just press Ctrl + 1 buttons simultaneously (Command + 1 in Mac)

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-2

  3. Go to the Number tab in the dialog box that shows up. Then, highlight Date in the left box by clicking it

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-3

  4. Choose the short date format you want to apply to your date(s) in the Type: box on the right (the default short date format in your excel program is the one with the star symbol in front of it). You can choose the short date format by clicking on it. You can also review your date display with the format you choose in the Sample box

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-4

  5. After you have chosen your short date format, click the OK button in the dialog box

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-5

  6. Done!

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2-6




How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel 3: TEXT Function

The last method we are going to discuss here is the TEXT function method. Here are the steps you can implement to use TEXT to apply the short date format.



  1. Type an equal sign ( = ) in the cell where you want to put your date with a short date format

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-1

  2. Type TEXT (can be with large and small letters) and an open bracket sign after =

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-2

  3. Input the cell where you put your date. Then, type a comma sign ( , )

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-3

  4. Input the short date format you want for your date. Type d to represent a day, m to represent a month, and y to represent a year. If you want a short date format, type the d, m, and y a maximum of three times each

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-4

  5. Type a close bracket sign

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-5

  6. Press Enter
  7. Done!

    How to Apply a Short Date Format to a Date in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3-7




Exercise

After you learned how to apply a short date format to a date in excel, now let’s do an exercise. This is so you can understand what you have just learned more practically.

Download the exercise file and do all the instructions below. Download the answer key file if you have done the exercise and want to check your answers.

Link to the exercise file:
Download here

Instructions:
Do each instruction in the appropriate gray-colored cell according to the question number!
  1. Apply a short date format to the date by using the number format dropdown method!
  2. Apply a short date format to the date by using the format cells dialog box method! Use a format like 06/21/83 for 21 June 2083!
  3. Apply a short date format to the date by using TEXT! Use a format like 21-06-83 for 21 June 2083!

Link to the answer key file:
Download here



Additional Note

You can also use these three methods if you want to do the opposite, applying a long date format to dates.



Related tutorials you should learn too:



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