Quick, clean, and to the point

Convert date to text

Excel formula: Convert date to text
Generic formula 

If you need to convert dates to text (i.e. date to string conversion) , you can use the TEXT function. The TEXT function can use patterns like "dd/mm/yyyy", "yyyy-mm-dd", etc. to convert a valid date to a text value. See table below for a list of available tokens.


Dates and times in Excel are stored as serial numbers and converted to human readable values on the fly using number formats. When you enter a date in Excel, you can apply a number format to display that date as you like. In a similar way, the TEXT function allows you to convert a date or time into text in a preferred format. For example, if the date January 9, 2000 is entered in cell A1, you can use TEXT to convert this date into the following text strings as follows:

=TEXT(A1,"mmm")            // "Jan"
=TEXT(A1,"dd/mm/yyyy")     // "09/01/2012"
=TEXT(A1,"dd-mmm-yy")      // "09-Jan-12"

Date format codes

Assuming a date of January 9, 2012, here is a more complete set of formatting codes for date, along with sample output.

Format code Output
d 9
dd 09
ddd Mon
dddd Monday
m 1
mm 01
mmm Jan
mmmm January
mmmmm J
yy 12
yyyy 2012
mm/dd/yyyy 01/09/2012
m/d/y 1/9/12
ddd, mmm d Mon, Jan 9
mm/dd/yyyy h:mm AM/PM 01/09/2012 5:15 PM
dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm:ss 09/01/2012 17:15:00

You can use the TEXT function to convert dates or any numeric value to a fixed text format. You can explore available formats by navigating to Format Cells (Win: Ctrl + 1, Mac: Cmd + 1) and selecting various format categories in the list to the left. Also see: Excel custom number formats.

Dave Bruns

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