General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

How can I fix this problem in Excel?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6762points) July 28th, 2010

I try to type 1–4 in a cell but when I press tab to go on to the next cell it autocorrects to January 4. Even if I put a space between the dashes 1 – 4 excel still recognizes it and changes it. I find this extremely annoying. How can I fix this?

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9 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Right click on the cell and go to format cells, and then select dates and pick what you want.

Mtl_zack's avatar

@JLeslie Ah this helps. But is there a way of doing this so I don’t have to right click on every cell. Can I set this as default?

johnny0313x's avatar

I am not sure about setting it as default(I am sure there is a way) But you can select the whole spreadsheet or column/multiple cells and change them all at once. You don’t have to go cell by cell.

Mtl_zack's avatar

This helped a lot. Thanks guys!

JLeslie's avatar

Well, you can left click on the box in the very top left corner, so to the left of the A and above the 1 and it will highlight the entire spreadsheet and then right click in that same box and repeat the steps for formatting the cells, or if you have a row or column of cells that will be dates just click on the the row, like cleck on A, B, or C etc, or 1, 2, 3 and that whole row or column will highlight. Or, you can left click and drag just a few cells and do the same thing. Hope that helps.

MrItty's avatar

The way to do it without formatting is to put an apostrophe in front of it. That’s Excel-code for “this is text”. The apostrophe will not show up in the cell when you look at it or print it. But if you type ‘1–4 or ’.2, Excel will display 1–4 or .2 rather than Jan-4 or 0.2.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to mention what @MrItty said. That is a good trick to know, it also helps when numbers bounce to left adjust when everything else on the page is right adjust, and some other things.

RocketGuy's avatar

If 1–4 is supposed to be some kind of text, you should type ‘1–4 and it will automatically format it as a text entry, instead of the assumed date entry.

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