Safest way to capture a date in Excel

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Safest way to capture a date in Excel.

If the dates in your spreadsheet were captured by a human typing, the biggest risk is lack of consistency. Even if an IT system is incorrectly creating the dates at least they will be consistent. Humans don’t mind if a column of dates looks like this

  • 13/12/2009
  • 14/12/09
  • 2009/12/15

But Excel will not recognise all those dates. On my computer only the last one would be recognised as a date. There is a safe way to manually capture dates into a spreadsheet so that there is a 99% chance Excel will immediately recognise it as a date.

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