Working with dates in Excel is easy, and there are all sorts of formats that you can use to display dates in your spreadsheet, including:

April 1, 2015
Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Selecting the format is quite easy:

  1. Move your pointer or your cursor to the cell or column that you want to change.
  2. Right click.
  3. Select Format Cells…
  4. Choose Date from the Format Cells menu.
  5. Move your pointer to the Type of format you prefer from the Samples.
  6. Click OK.

When you’ve done this, your chosen format will appear no matter how you type in the date. For example, let’s say you prefer the format, “1-Apr-2015.” That format will display even if you type “4/1/2015.” Personally, I prefer formats that include the name of the month because it avoids ambiguity in countries that use “2/7/2015” to mean “2 July 2015” rather than “7 February 2015.”

Although it’s a little more complicated, you can also choose to display the day of the week without the date. Frequently, I find it useful to have two columns. The first shows the day of the week; the second shows the date.

Day Date
Wednesday April 1, 2015


Here’s how you do this:

  1. Enter the words “Day” and “Date” in Cells A1 and B1 respectively.
  2. Highlight both columns and select the format “April 1, 2015” as explained above.
  3. Enter a date in Cell A2.
  4. Set Cell B2 to equal A2 by clicking in Cell B2, entering the “=” sign and pointing at Cell A2.
  5. Highlight Column A.
  6. On the Home tab, in the Number group, click the drop-down menu, click More Number Formats, and then click the Number tab.
  7. Under Category, click Custom, and in the Type box, type dddd for the full name of the day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, and so on), or ddd for the abbreviated name of the day of the week (Mon, Tue, Wed, and so on).
  8. Click OK.

The day of the week will now display in Cell A2.