How Do I Change the Default Year in My Excel Spreadsheet?

by Tricia Goss
Determine how Excel displays years

Determine how Excel displays years

You can change many defaults in Microsoft Excel, tailoring your spreadsheets to your precise needs. If you have tried to change the way years and other dates appear, though, you may have wound up frustrated. You can indeed change the default year format. The key is knowing where to do so, as you do now change it from within Excel but rather from within your Windows operating system settings.

Change the Default Year Format in Windows XP

1

Click the "Start" button and open the "Control Panel" in the left pane of the Start menu.

2

Select "Switch to Category View" in the left pane of the window if the Control Panel is currently in "Classic" view.

3

Click on "Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options" to open the "Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options" window. Select "Regional and Language Options." Go to the "Regional Options" tab of the "Regional and Language Options" dialog box.

4

Click the "Customize" button. Go to the "Date" tab.

5

Select the year format that you want to use in Excel and other system settings in the "Short Date Format List." Click "Apply" to save the changes and click "OK" to close the dialog box. Close any other open dialogs or windows.

Change the Default Year Format in Windows Vista or 7

1

Click the "Start" button. Type "region" into the "Instant Search" box at the bottom of the Start menu.

2

Select "Clock, Language, and Region" or "Region and Language" from the "Control Panel" list in the right side of the Start menu.

3

Go to the "Formats" tab. Click the "Additional Settings" button at the bottom of the dialog box.

4

Go to the "Date" tab. Select the year format that you want to use in Excel and other system settings in the "Short Date Format List."

5

Click "Apply" to save the changes and click "OK" to close the dialog box. Close any other open dialogs or windows.

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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera calendar for 2007 (october) image by Sergey Galushko from Fotolia.com