Entering Dates in Excel

Stop the full stop

There are only two characters Excel recognises when separating numeric days, months and years in dates. They are the / and – characters.

Please don’t use the full stop as Excel won’t recognise it as a date.

Below you can see examples of using / and – in dates.


When you use the full stop Excel won’t recognise it as a date – see below.

Its left aligned and will be treated a text.

Related Posts

Unique Entries in Excel via a Conditional Format

Filtering to the rescue

Excel’s Conditional Formatting feature has a built-in unique option. Its unique option only identifies entries that are not repeated. This is different to the Advanced Filter Unique option which lists each unique item from a range once. To filter by entries only appearing once you can use Conditional Formatting with filtering. No formulas required.

Distinct Count in Excel

The Data Model to the rescue

Counting is the poor cousin to summing in Excel. Not many people count things, but everyone adds up things. There is a special sort of count that can be useful. A distinct count counts unique entries and is hard to do with a formula. If you have Excel 2013 or a later version you can use a PivotTable to perform a distinct count.