Convert US Dates To UK Dates Using Excel - Purple Computing
date

How To: Convert US Format Dates To UK Format Dates Using Excel (Or Vice Versa)


Symptoms

You are working with a delimited list of dates and they are in the wrong country format, so your Numbers or Excel spreadsheet doesn’t recognise them.

For example, US dates are MM/DD/YYYY whereas UK dates are DD/MM/YYYY

Cause

If your Mac is set to UK localisation preferences, a big list of dates from an external source might not be recognised as dates in Numbers or Excel if they are in US format.

Worse still, it might read some of the dates incorrectly. For example 02/05/2016 in US format is February 5th 2016, but your spreadsheet (in UK mode) will detect it incorrectly as the 2nd May 2016.

When it tries to process a US date in UK format which is impossible e.g 02/25/2016, it will treat that as plain text rather than a date. In US format this is a valid representation of the 25th Feb, but in UK format you can’t have the 2nd day of the 25th month, so it is converted to a text cell. Nightmare.

Resolution

You need Excel for this, tested on 2011+.

Let’s say you want to convert US dates MM/DD/YY to UK DD/MM/YY:

  1. Paste the dates into a column in a new Excel spreadsheet
  2. Select the whole column
  3. Select the Data menu > Text to Columns
  4. Choose “Delimited” and click next
  5. Untick all Delimiters and click next
  6. Select the dropdown menu format “Date: MDY” and click Finish
  7. The dates will be swapped around to the UK standard and hence will be recognised as such if you then wish to order that column by date

Still having issues converting dates?

Contact Purple and we can help with your business IT support.

Real-Time Feedback

When we solve a support ticket, clients are given the choice of leaving good or bad feedback along with an optional comment. We post the 10 most recent comments here automatically and in real-time. You can view even more on our page.

Date Name Comments
Jun 12th Simon D Great service - got the programme working A+
Jun 10th Helen W Alex was great - sorted all the issues and got me back up and running
Jun 6th Darlene F The support received from Jack today was above and beyond my satisfaction. Great work! Thank you! Have a lovely rest of this day. We appreciate YOU! :-)
Jun 6th Niamh O Thanks for the speedy response/ help
Jun 2nd Bill S I was totally locked out and out of my depth with office 365 and outlook. I tried everything. Dean fixed it, got me up and running, (and on a weekend no less) and I am supremely grateful. Your Toronto staff rules!
May 30th Andy W Awesome, super fast response as it was an urgent requirement, thank you guys
May 29th Mark H As ever a quick response and problem sorted ... thanks Lochie!
May 22nd Georgina H Great service, as always from Purple. Thanks guys!
May 15th Salaheddin A Thank you very much for the clear communication, the helpful information, and for being professionals, thank you.
May 14th Amanda H Lots of advice and help with my iPhone.