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.

Generic formula



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. Similarly, 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 a 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.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.