How to Turn Off the Automatic Formatting of Dates in Microsoft Excel

White and black robot toy.jpg

Not all bad dates end with you running to post a sad status update or Tweet about it. Sometimes, they’re all software related, like when you’re trying to type into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and the software automatically formats your data for you. You can turn off this automatic formatting much easier than you can shut down some of the more eager suitors.

1 Intervene in Automatic Formatting

When you’re typing dates on a cell-by-cell basis in Excel, Excel may jump the gun and format them for you. When it does, you’ll see a small button with an icon of a lightning bolt. Click this, the AutoCorrect Options button, and select “Undo.” This turns off the automatic formatting of just that one cell’s date entry.

2 Turn off Automatic Formatting

When you’re ready to go solo and know exactly how you want to format your dates, you can make one change to Excel’s settings and stop the ongoing automatic formatting. Click the "File" tab and choose the “Options” link. Scroll to and click “Proofing,” and then click "AutoCorrect Options" under the AutoCorrect Options section. Click the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab. Uncheck all of the “Replace as you type” buttons and click “OK” to close the boxes.

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.